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Author  of  "Justice  to  the  Jew,"  .etc. 









4701,    AVE.    DORNAL 


Copyright  1900 

Copyriiht  1912 

''*^nt^d  in  C.  3,  yi 


While  gathering  the  facts  for  "  Justice  to 
the  Jew,"  I  chanced  upon  so  many  wise  pro- 
verbs, witty  sayings,  beautiful  parables,  and 
quaint  legends  of  the  Talmud,  that  I  became 
intensely  interested  in  this  remarkable  literary 
production  of  antiquity.  In  its  twelve  folio 
volumes  it  embodies  the  mental  labors  of  the 
ancient  Jewish  teachers  during  the  period  of 
about  eight  hundred  years. 

After  a  lecture  at  a  Western  university,  by  a 
well-known  Rabbi,  one  of  his  hearers  went 
to  him  and  said:  "  I  came  to  hear  *  The  Tal- 
mud,' in  order  to  know  what  kind  of  mud  it 
is,"  confessing  his  utter  ignorance  as  to  the 
very  name  (Talmud,  Study,  from  latnad,  to 

I  once  asked  one  of  the  most  brilliantly 
gifted  preachers  in  New  York,  if  he  had  ever 
read  anything  from  '  the  Talmud.*  "  No," 
he  answered,  "  only  a  few  sentences  which 


6  preface 

now  and  then  I  have  met  by  chance."  Then  I 
determined  I  would  add  to  my  Talmudic  col- 
lection, which  I  had  made  for  personal  use, 
and  give  the  Christian  public  some  idea  of  the 
book  which  has  been  so  remarkably  powerful 
in  the  influence  it  exercised  upon  the  thought 
and  life  of  the  Jews  during  the  middle  ages, 
and  even  down  to  the  present  time.  I  believe 
that  readers  will  find  this  volume  of  incalcu- 
lable value  in  the  pursuit  of  wisdom,  helpful  in 
gaining  a  knowledge  of  the  Jewish  religion, 
and,  I  hope,  that  it  will  lead  Christian  schol- 
ars to  study  the  subject  further. 

Among  scores  of  other  periodicals  and 
books  consulted,  I  beg  to  acknowledge  my 
indebtedness  to  the  following  works: 

"  Parabeln,  Legenden  und  Gedanken,  aus  dem  Tal- 
mud," by  Ludwig  Seligman. 

"  The  Poetry  of  the  Talmud."  by  S.  Sekles. 

"  Rabbinische  Blumenlese,"  by  Leopold  Dukes. 

"The  Talmud,"  by  Emanuel  Deutsch. 

"  Talmudic  Sayings,"  by  Rabbi  Henry  Cohen. 

"Talmudic  Legends,"  by  L.  Weiss. 

"  Translations  of  the  Talmud,"  by  Polano. 

Rodkinson's  "  Talmud." 

"  Introduction  to  the  Talmud,"  by  Mielziner. 

Hershon's  "Genesis,"  and  the  Prayer-book. 

Madison  C.  Peters. 


The  Torah  (or  law)  was  given  a.m.  2448. 
From  the  following  forty  years  of  the  desert- 
life  down  to  the  present  day,  countless  rulings, 
precedents,  etc.,  have  accumulated.  Some  are 
indicated  in  various  passages  in  the  Bible,  e.g., 
ceremonies  or  rules  observed  in  mourning,  or 
have  come  to  us  by  tradition. 

Rabbi  Judah  Hanassi,  surnamed  the  Holy, 
collected  all  attainable  and  published  them  in 
what  we  call  the  Mishna,  a.m.  3980. 

The  Mishna  contains  six  sections  or  Se- 
darim.  Each  section  or  Seder  contains  Mas- 
sechtoth  or  treatises,  as  follows: 

Section  I:  Seeds. — After  a  chapter  devoted 
to  the  benedictions,  it  treats  of  tithes,  first 
fruits,  sacrifices,  and  gifts  due  from  the  prod- 
uce of  the  land  to  the  priests,  the  Levites,  and 
the  poor;  of  the  cessation  of  agricultural  labor 
during  the  Sabbatic  year;  and  of  the  prohib- 


8  fntrobuction 

ited  mixtures  in  seeds  and  in  grafting. — In  all 
eleven  treatises. 

Section  II:  Feasts. — Of  the  Sabbath  and 
Sabbath  rest,  of  feasts  and  fasts:  Passover, 
Tabernacles,  New  Year,  the  Day  of  Atone- 
ment, and  the  Fasts;  of  work  forbidden,  cere- 
monies to  be  observed,  and  sacrifices  to  be 
brought  on  those  days. — Twelve  treatises. 

Section  III:  Women. — The  legislation  con- 
cerning marriage,  divorce,  the  levirate  mar- 
riage, and  adultery;  vows  and  the  regulations 
for  the  Nazirite. — Seven  treatises. 

Section  IV:  Fines. — Civil  legislation,  be- 
sides a  tractate  on  idolatry,  and  one  called 
Ahoth,  consisting  of  a  collection  of  the  ethical 
sentences  of  the  Rabbis.  This  section  treats 
of  commercial  transactions,  purchases,  sales, 
mortgages,  prescriptions,  etc.;  of  legal  pro- 
cedure, of  the  organization  of  tribunals,  of 
witnesses,  oaths,  etc. — Ten  treatises. 

Section  V:  Sacred  Things. — The  legfisla- 
tion  concerning  sacrifices,  the  first-born,  clean 
and  unclean  animals;  the  description  of  Her- 
od's Temple. — Eleven  treatises. 

Section  VI:  Purifications. — Laws  concern- 
ing Levitical  cleanness  and  uncleanness;  clean 

Introduction  9 

and  unclean  persons  and  things,  objects  capa- 
ble of  becoming  unclean  by  contact.  Purifica- 
tions.— Twelve  treatises. 

Many  decisions  not  included  by  Rabbi 
Jehudah,  because  not  considered  by  him  suf- 
ficiently authoritative,  or  because  they  were 
merely  repetitions,  were  collected  later  under 
the  name  of  Boraithoth  in  a  work  called  the 
Tosiphtha,  or  Addition  (Supplement),  by  Rab- 
bis Hiya  and  Oshaya  of  Babylon.  Yet  other 
Boraithoth  are  to  be  found  in  the  Gemara. 

The  Gemara  is  a  comment  on  the  Mishna, 
just  as  the  Mishna  is  a  comment  on  the  Torah 
or  Law.  One  Gemara,  the  work  of  the  Pal- 
estine schools,  inaccurately  but  generally 
called  the  Jerusalem  Talmud,  was  edited  in 
Tiberias  about  380  c.e.  The  other,  much 
larger,  better  known  and  constituting  what 
is  meant  when  the  word  "  Talmud  "  is  used, 
is  the  work  of  the  Babylonian  schools,  and  was 
edited  by  Rabbi  Ashi  and  his  disciple,  Rabbi 
Jose,  about  500  c.e.  This  is  usually  pub- 
lished with  the  commentary  of  the  celebrated 
Rashi,  and  with  comments  called  Tosephoth. 

The  Rabbis  identified  with  the  Mishna  are 
called  Tanaim,  or  teachers;   those  of  the  Ge- 

10  fntrobuctfon 

mara  are  called  Amoraim,  or  speakers,  and  the 
latter  commentators  are  called  Seburaim,  or 
opinionists.  Imagine  the  debates,  evidence  or 
testimony,  assertions,  opinions,  pro  and  con, 
identified  with  processes  of  Law  that  continue 
through  centuries.  How  much  extraneous 
matter  must  naturally  be  met  with!  Imagine 
the  debates,  evidence,  assertions,  opinions, 
etc.,  pro  and  con,  identified  with  processes  of 
Law  of  only  one  year,  of  only  one  court, 
of  only  one  modern  city.  How  much  in- 
formation will  be  incidentally  stated!  It  is 
not  surprising,  therefore,  that  we  find  in- 
cidentally stated  in  the  Talmud  much  that  may 
seem  to  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  case  in 
point,  but  which  is  incidentally  of  value  to  a 
future  student  of  men  and  manners,  of  value 
to  historian,  antiquarian,  ethnologist,  scien- 
tist, of  value  to  preacher,  lawyer,  physician  or 
other  scientists,  and  of  value  to  artisan,  house- 
wife, humorist  and  philosopher. 

We  can,  if  we  like,  dig  out  of  the  Talmud 
— as  dishonest  Christians  and  despicable  con- 
verted Jews  have  done — sentences  which 
show  the  Talmud  in  a  bad  light.  To  con- 
demn the  Talmud  or  the  Jews  as  a  whole 

fntrobuctfon  ii 

for  such  sentences  is  as  silly  as  to  con- 
demn French  history  and  Frenchmen  as  a  na- 
tion, for  such  songs  of  revenge,  due  to  the  war 
of  1870,  as  "  No  shield  henceforth  but  hate, 
hate  equal  to  the  enemy's,"  or  as  Victor  Hugo 
has  it: 

"  Poison  the  wells,  the  sleeping  murder, 
Kill  them  with  axes,  pitchforks  and  scythes." 

(See  Lazarus,  Ethics  of  Judaism,  p.  262, 
Jewish  Pub.  Soc.  of  America.) 

Such  sentences  do  not  interpret  the  true, 
natural  spirit,  but  only  a  passing  emotion  due 
to  sudden  contingency.  For  man  is  human, 
and  even  a  tenderhearted  mother  will  utter 
imprecations  on  a  foe  who  snatches  her  infant 
and  hurls  it  to  death.  We  Hebrews  have  suf- 
fered such  outrages — and  more.  It  would  be 
strange,  indeed,  if  some  of  our  fathers  and 
mothers  did  not  cry  out  against  the  treatment 
received  from  pagan  and  Christian  (?)!  They 
were  only  human,  after  all. 

But  let  us  see  what  is  the  recognized  and 
legal  attitude  of  Jew  to  Gentile,  according  to 
Jewish  Law. 

"  The  Law  was  revealed  publicly  in  the  un- 
claimed desert.    If  it  had  been  revealed  in  the 

12  fntro&uctlon 

land  of  Israel,  the  Israelites  might  have  main- 
tained that  other  nations  had  no  part  in  it. 
Therefore,  it  was  published  in  the  open  desert; 
it  is  the  property  of  the  whole  world;  every- 
one is  at  liberty  to  assume  the  responsibilities 
it  imposes.  (Mechilta  Yithro.  Parashat  Bach- 

"  Every  house  a  temple,  every  heart  an 
altar,  every  human  being  a  priest "  (Cf.  Laz- 
arus, ibid.,  page  35).  "  Not  priest,  not  Levite, 
not  Israelite,  but  man  is  bearer  of  the  Law. 

Moses  declares  not  that  Israel  is  the  only 
son  of  God,  but  that  he  is  only  His  first-born. 
Israel  is  my  son,  my  first-born  (Exod.  v.  22), 
and  twice,  on  most  solemn  occasions,  once 
when  mutiny  threatened  ruin  to  the  people, 
and  once  when  his  successor  was  to  be  ap- 
pointed, Moses  appeals  not  to  the  God  of  the 
Hebrews,  but  to  the  God  of  the  Spirits  of  all 
Flesh.    (Numbers  xvi,  22;  xxvii.  16.) 

The  Temple  of  Solomon  was  consecrated 
not  that  only  Hebrews  might  know,  but  "  in 
order  that  all  the  peoples  of  the  earth  might 
know  that  the  Lord  is  God  "  (i  K.  viii.  60), 
and  in  his  consecration  prayer  he  prayed  that 

"  Moreover  concerning  a  stranger,  that  is 

Introduction  13 

not  of  thy  people  Israel,  but  cometh  out  of  a 
far  country  for  thy  name's  sake  (for  they  shall 
hear  of  thy  great  name,  and  of  thy  strong 
hand,  and  of  thy  stretched  out  arm);  when  he 
shall  come  and  pray  toward  this  house:  Hear 
thou  in  heaven  thy  dwelling-place,  and  do 
according  to  all  that  the  stranger  calleth  to 
thee  for:  that  all  people  of  the  earth  may 
know  thy  name,  to  fear  thee,  as  do  thy  people 
Israel;  and  that  they  may  know  that  this 
house,  which  I  have  builded,  is  called  by  thy 
name."    (i  Kings  viii.  41-43.) 

Prophet  after  prophet  preaches  that  God 
cares  for  all  mankind.  Even  as  Moses  com- 
mands, "  One  law  for  home-born  and  for 
stranger  "  (Num.  xiv.  15,  16).  "  Love  ye  the 
stranger  "  (Deut.  x.  19).  "  The  Lord  loveth 
the  stranger  "  (Deut.  x.  18).  "  Yea,  He  loveth 
the  nations  "  (Deut.  xxxiii.  3),  so  an  Isaiah 
welcomes  the  stranger  or  non-Hebrew  who 
keeps  God's  Sabbath  and  Zepaniah  sings  of  the 
House  of  God  to  be  called  a  House  of  Prayer 
for  all  the  peoples;  so  the  prophet  son  of  Amos 
pictures  the  Divine  Being  as  "  God  of  all  the 
earth  shall  He  be  called  "  (Isa.  Ivi.  7).  And 
the  prophet  who  ends  the  sacred  scroll  holds 

14  Introduction 

up  the  grand  ideal  of  Jewish  teaching,  the 
universal  Fatherhood  of  God.  "  Have  we  not 
all  one  Father  "  (Malachi  ii.  lo). 

Furthermore,  the  admonition,  "  Seek  ye  the 
peace  of  the  city  "  (Jerem.  xxix.  7);  which  is 
to  this  day  the  incentive  to  identification  with 
the  best  interests  of  the  city  or  community  and 
the  realization  of  the  ideal  of  the  prophet  and 
dream  of  the  poet,  or  Zionism,  means  nothing 
but  the  establishment  of  our  nation,  not  for 
our  nation's  glory  or  advantage,  but  for  the 
advantage  and  benefit  of  the  world.  For 
there  the  court  of  international  arbitration 
will  rid  the  world  of  the  crime,  curse  and  cost 
of  war.  (Isa.  ii.  4;  Micah  iv.  3.)  Thence  will 
spread  the  knowledge  of  the  Lord,  to  fill  earth 
(it  does  not  say  to  fill  Palestine  only)  with  the 
knowledge  of  the  Lord  as  the  waters  cover  the 
sea.  (Isa.  xi.  9.)  Then  "  Loving-kindness  and 
Truth  shall  meet,  Righteousness  and  Peace 
embrace;  Truth  shall  spring  forth  from  Earth 
and  Charity  look  down  from  Heaven."  (Ps. 
Ixxxv.  II,  12.) 

And  the  fact  that  it  is  a  Jewish  axiom  that 
the  righteous  of  all  nations  have  a  portion  in 
the  future  world  shows  the  true  catholic  spirit 

fntro&uction  15 

of  Judaism  and  its  protestant  power  against 
any  narrowness  between  God  the  Father  of  all 
and  all  men,  His  earthly  children,  and  against 
any  narrowness  between  man  and  man. 

In  this  little  volume  of  Dr.  Peters,  ethical 
teachings  from  the  Talmud  will  be  found.  Let 
the  candid  Christian  reader  ask  himself 
whether  or  not  a  nation  whose  literature 
abounds  with  such  lofty  teachings,  noble 
ideals  and  exalted  ideas  as  Dr.  Peters  has 
gathered,  and  they  are  but  a  few  pebbles 
washed  up  from  the  "  Sea  of  the  Talmud  " — is 
or  is  not  a  power  that  makes  for  good  in  this 

And  let  it  not  be  forgotten  that  the  New 
Testament  itself  is  full  of  similar  lofty  teach- 
ings, noble  ideals  and  exalted  ideas,  birthed 
in  Jewish  brains,  inspired  by  Jewish  hearts, 
spoken  by  Jewish  tongues,  and  written  with 
pens  wielded  by  Jewish  hands. 

H.  Pereira  Mendes. 



Actions  speak  louder  than  words. 

Judge  a  man  by  his  deeds,  not  by  his  words. 

All  the  other  rivers  said  to  the  Euphrates: 

"  Why  is  the  current  of  thy  water  not  heard 

at  a  distance?  "    The  Euphrates  replied:    "My 

deeds  testify  for  me.    Anything  sown  by  men 

at  my  shores  will  be  in  full  bloom  within 

thirty  days."    The  rivers  then  addressed  the 

Tigris:     "  Why  is  the  current  of  thy  waters 

heard  at  a  distance?  "    "  I  must  direct  the  at- 


1 8  Mit  an^  Mis^om 

tention  of  the  people  to  me  by  my  tumultuous 
rapidity,"  the  Tigris  replied. 

The  moral:  The  less  the  merits  of  a  person 
are,  the  more  he  will  feel  urged  to  proclaim 
them  to  the  public. 


The  forest  trees  once  asked  the  fruit  trees: 
"  Why  is  the  rustling  of  your  leaves  not  heard 
in  the  distance?"  The  fruit  trees  replied: 
"  We  can  dispense  with  the  rustling  to  man- 
ifest our  presence,  our  fruits  testify  for  us." 
The  fruit  trees  then  inquired  of  the  forest 
trees:  "Why  do  your  leaves  rustle  almost 
continually?  "  "  We  are  forced  to  call  the  at- 
tention of  man  to  our  existence." 


Adversity  is  the  true  school  of  the  mind. 


When  the  ox  is  down,  many  are  the  butch- 

ot  tbe  "JTalmub  19 


Not  as  thou  sayest,  but  as  thy  fellows  say. 

Too  many  captains  sink  the  ship. 

Hear  sixty  advisers,  but  be  guided  by  your 
own  conviction. 

The  action  of  a  fool  cannot  serve  as  a  pre- 


Poor  servants  ask  advice  after  a  thing  has 

A  thing  to  which  a  fool  does  not  consent, 
know  as  the  right  thing. 


None  may  be  called  venerable  save   the 

20  Wit  an^  TRIli0^om 

Happy  is  the  old  age  that  atones  for  the 
follies  of  youth;  but  happier  still  the  youth 
for  which  old  age  needs  not  to  blush. 


An  old  man  is  a  trouble  in  the  house;  an 
old  woman  is  a  treasure  in  the  house. 


He  who  has  no  inner  nobleness  has  nothing, 
even  if  he  be  of  noble  birth. 


Alexander  the  Great,  in  his  travels  amidst 
the  deserts  and  barren  lands,  came  at  last  to  a 
river  which  flowed  between  two  verdant 
shores.  The  surface  of  the  water  was  quite 
smooth,  and  not  the  slightest  breeze  was  per- 
ceptible. It  was  the  picture  of  contentment 
and  silently  seemed  to  say:  Behold  here  the 
seat  of  peace  and  quietness.  Thousands  of 
happy  thoughts  this  beautiful  scenery  might 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  21 

have  produced  in  a  contemplating  mind;  but 
what  could  have  soothed  Alexander,  who  was 
full  of  ambitious  plans,  whose  ear  had  become 
accustomed  to  the  clashing  of  arms,  and  the 
groans  of  the  dying  warrior?  Alexander  con- 
tinued his  journey,  but  he  soon  felt  exhausted, 
and  was  obliged  to  seek  for  rest.  He  fixed 
his  tent  on  the  shores  of  a  river,  drank  some 
water  thereof,  which  seemed  to  him  very  re- 
freshing, being  of  a  sweet  and  agreeable  taste, 
and  even  spread  a  sweet  fragrance  all  over 
the  place.  **  Surely,"  said  he,  "  this  river,  en- 
joying such  peculiar  advantages,  must  take  its 
source  in  a  country  rich  in  blessings.  Let  us 
find  out  whence  it  springeth."  Following 
thus  for  some  time  the  shores  of  the  river,  he 
at  length  arrived  at  the  gates  of  paradise. 
These  were  closed,  and  he  knocked,  demand- 
ing in  his  usual  peremptory  manner  to  be  ad- 
mitted at  once. 

"Thou  canst  not  have  admission  here,"  a 
voice  from  within  called  unto  him;  "this  is 
the  gate  of  the  Master."  "  I  am  the  Master, 
Lord  of  the  whole  earth,"  replied  the  impa- 
tient monarch.  "  I  am  Alexander  the  con- 
queror. What!  do  you  hesitate  to  admit  me?  " 

22  Mit  ant)  Mid&om 

*'  No,"  he  was  answered,  "  here  no  conqueror 
is  known  but  he  who  conquers  his  passions; 
the  just  only  are  allowed  to  enter  here." 

Alexander  tried  hard  to  get  admittance, 
but  neither  threats  nor  entreaties  had  any  ef- 
fect. He  then  said  to  the  keeper  who  held 
watch  at  the  gates  of  paradise:  "  You  know 
that  I  am  a  great  king,  who  has  received  the 
homage  of  many  nations;  if  you  really  refuse 
to  admit  me,  give  me  at  least  some  kind  of  a 
keepsake,  in  order  that  I  may  surprise  the 
world  in  showing  that  I  have  been  as  far  as 
this,  the  place  which  no  mere  mortal  ever 

"  Here,  silly  man,"  replied  the  keeper, 
"  here  I  give  you  something  which  can  heal 
all  sorrows.  Moreover,  one  glance  at  it  will 
teach  you  wisdom,  such  as  you  have  never 
thought  to  be  master  of!  Now,  go  your 

Alexander  took  hastily  what  was  given  him 
and  then  returned  to  his  tent.  But  how  as- 
tonished was  he,  when  perceiving  that  his 
present  was  nothing  but  part  of  a  human 
skull!  "This,  then,  is  the  nice  keepsake,"  he 
said,  "which  they  offer  to  a  king  and  a  hero 

ot  tbe  XTalmu^  23 

like  me!  This,  then,  is  the  fruit  of  all  my 
labor,  all  the  dangers  and  troubles  I  have 
hitherto  undergone!"  Enraged,  and  disap- 
pointed in  his  hopes,  he  threw  away  the  mis- 
erable portion  of  the  mortal  integument. 
"  Great  king,"  said  a  wise  man,  who  noticed 
the  act,  "  do  not  despise  this  present,  however 
insignificant  it  may  appear  in  your  eyes;  it 
possesses,  nevertheless,  extraordinary  quali- 
ties, of  which  you  may  soon  convince  your- 
self by  weighing  it  with  gold  or  silver."  Al- 
exander said  he  would  like  to  try,  and,  order- 
ing a  pair  of  scales,  placed  the  skull  in  one 
and  gold  in  the  other.  He  was  immediately 
surprised  to  find  the  one  containing  the  skull 
going  down.  More  gold  was  fetched,  and  the 
more  they  put  on  the  scale,  the  more  it  went 
up.  "  It  is  extraordinary,"  said  Alexander, 
"  that  such  a  small  portion  of  matter  should 
outweigh  so  much  gold.  Is  there  no  counter- 
balance to  be  had,  in  order  to  produce  an 
equilibrium?  " 

"  Certainly,"  said  the  wise  man,  "  very  little 
will  suffice."  Whereupon  he  took  a  small  por- 
tion of  earth  and  covered  the  bone  with  it, 
which  caused  the  scale  in  which  it  lay  to  rise 

24  TRUit  anO  Mid&om 

immediately.  "  This  is  certainly  very  singu- 
lar! "  Alexander  now  exclaimed,  "  Could  you 
not  explain  to  me  this  remarkable  phenome- 
non? "  "  Great  king,"  replied  the  wise  man, 
"  this  fragment  of  bone  is  the  part  in  which 
the  human  eye  is  enclosed,  and,  although  in 
its  extent  limited,  it  is  nevertheless  unlimited 
in  its  desires;  the  more  it  has,  the  more  it 
wants;  neither  gold  nor  silver,  nor  any  earthly 
possession,  is  able  to  satiate  its  wishes.  But 
being  once  in  the  grave  and  covered  with 
earth,  there  it  finds  a  limit  for  all  its  eager 


Anger  profiteth  nobody. 

Avoid  anger  and  thou  wilt  not  sin. 
Anger  showeth  the  character  of  a  man. 
To  accept  excuse  shows  a  good  disposition. 

ot  tbe  Ualmub  25 

The  beginning  of  anger  is  madness,  the  end 

He  who  gives  way  to  his  wrath  makes 
desolate  his  house. 

When  the  wise  is  angry,  he  is  wise  no 

A  man  may  be  known  by  three  things:  by 
his  conduct  in  money  matters,  his  behavior 
at  the  table  and  his  demeanor  when  angry. 

Be  not  easily  moved  to  anger. 


To  him  who  curbs  his  wrath,  his  sins  will 
be  forgiven. 

He  who  is  slow  to  anger  and  easily  pacified 
is  truly  pious  and  virtuous. 

26  Mit  ant)  Mi6^om 


Two  pieces  of  coin  in  one  bag  make  more 
noise  than  a  hundred. 

Look  not  at  the  cask,  but  at  what  is  in  it. 
A  new  cask  may  contain  old  wine,  and  an  old 
one  may  be  altogether  empty. 

Where  the  sages  bid  us  beware  for  the  sake 
of  outward  appearances,  they  mean  us  to  re- 
gard even  our  innermost  chamber  as  a  market- 


Arrogance  is  a  kingdom  without  a  crown. 


Ever  associate  with  the  good. 

From  vagrants  chit-chat,  from  rags  vermia 

of  tbe  UalmuD  27 

If  thy  associates  be  insane,  be  thou  sensible. 


We  may  say  to  the  bee,  neither  thy  honey 
nor  thy  sting. 


Birds  of  a  feather  flock  together;    and  so 
with  men — like  to  like. 


Associate  not  with  the  wicked  man,  even  if 
thou  canst  learn  from  him. 


A  man  without  a  fitting  companion  is  like 
the  left  hand  without  the  right. 


Not  without  reason  goes  the  crow  to  the 
raven,  but  because  it  is  of  its  kind. 


If  you  touch  pitch,  it  will  stick  to  your  fin- 
gers; even  so,  if  you  associate  with  evil  com- 
panions, you  will  acquire  their  vices. 

28  Mtt  and  limisDom 

It  is  beautiful  and  rejoicing  to  see  grapes 
on  the  vine;  it  is  ugly  and  repugnant  to  see 
grapes  on  a  thorn-bush. 


When  the  iron  was  created  the  trees  com- 
menced to  tremble.  The  iron,  however,  said 
to  them:  "What  are  you  trembling  at?  If 
none  of  your  wood  will  join  me,  I  will  remain 


Every  beast  associates  with  its  kind,  but 
man  only  with  his  equal.  What  can  combine 
wolf  with  the  sheep?  So  is  the  impious  with 
the  poor.  Would  the  hyena  associate  with 
the  dog?  So  the  wealthy  with  the  poor.  The 
wild  ass  is  torn  to  pieces  by  the  lion,  so  the 
poor  becomes  the  prey  of  the  rich. 


When  the  flood  came  over  the  earth,  and 
everything  was  threatened  with  destruction, 
and  every  kind  of  beast  in  pairs  came  to  Noah, 

ot  tbe  Ualmut)  29 

the  Lie,  too,  asked  admittance  into  the  ark. 
Noah,  however,  refused.  "  Only  pairs  may 
enter  here,"  he  said.  The  Lie  went  in  search 
of  a  companion,  and  at  last  met  Vice,  whom  it 
invited  to  go  to  the  ark.  "  I  am  willing  to 
keep  company  with  thee,  if  thou  wilt  promise 
to  give  me  all  thy  earnings,"  said  Vice.  The 
Lie  agreed,  and  they  were  both  admitted  into 
the  ark.  After  they  left  the  ark  the  Lie  re- 
gretted her  agreement,  and  wished  to  dissolve 
partnership  with  Vice;  but  it  was  too  late, 
and  thus  it  is  current,  that  "  what  Lie  earneth, 
Vice  consumeth." 


A  judge  that  takes  a  bribe,  even  if  he  be 
otherwise  perfectly  righteous,  will  not  depart 
from  the  world  before  he  has  become  de- 


He  laid  his  money  on  the  horns  of  a  deer. 

3Q  mtt  mt>  Wisdom 

Attend  no  auctions  if  thou  hast  no  money. 

Keep  partners  with  him  whom  the  hour  fa- 

If  thy  business  does  not  prosper  in  one 
town  try  another. 

He  who  looks  daily  after  his  field  finds  a 


Let  not  your  heart  with  cares  be  filled,  for 
care  has  many  a  victim  killed. 

Do  not  worry  thyself  with  the  trouble  of 
to-morrow;  perhaps  thou  wilt  have  no  to- 
morrow, and  why  shouldst  thou  trouble  thy- 
self about  a  world  that  is  not  thine? 

ot  tbe  Ualmub  31 


Poverty  comes  from  God,  but  not  dirt. 


Ignorance  and  conceit  go  hand  in  hand. 


Beautiful  are  the  admonitions  of  those 
whose  lives  accord  with  their  teachings. 

Take  out  the  beam  from  thine  eye. 

First  correct  thyself,  then  correct  others. 


Three  names  are  given  to  a  man:  one  by 
his  parents,  another  by  the  world,  and  the 
third  by  his  works — the  one  which  is  written 
in  the  immortal  book  of  his  fate.  Which  of 
these   three   names   is   the   best?     Solomon 

33  Mit  an^  MisDom 

teaches  us,  when  he  says:     "A  good  name 
is  better  than  the  sweetest  oil." 

As  a  tree  is  known  by  its  fruit,  so  man  by 
his  works. 


There  are  three  crowns:  that  of  the  Law, 
the  priesthood,  and  royalty;  but  the  crown  of 
a  good  name  is  loftier  than  all  these. 

The  righteous  man  is  a  pillar  upon  which 
all  the  world  rests. 


Charity  is  the  salt  of  riches. 

Charity  is  the  greatest  virtue. 
Charity  is  more  than  sacrifices. 

ot  tbe  'Calmub  33 

Good  deeds  are  better  than  creeds. 

He  who  gives  charity  in  secret  is  greater 
than  Moses. 

Even  he  who  lives  upon  charity  should 
practise  benevolence. 

It  is  better  to  lend  than  to  give.  To  give 
employment  is  better  than  either. 

The  practice  of  beneficence  will  assure  the 
maintenance  of  one's  possessions. 

Our  kindly  deeds  and  our  generous  gifts 
go  to  heaven  as  messengers,  and  plead  for  us 
before  our  heavenly  Father. 


He  who  turns  away  from  the  works  of  love 
and  charity,  turns  away  from  God. 

34  Mtt  anO  MisDom 

The  merit  of  charitable  works  is  in  propor- 
tion to  the  grace  with  which  they  are  prac- 

The  noblest  of  all  charities  is  in  enabling 
the  poor  to  earn  a  livelihood. 


Charity  is  more  valuable  than  sacrifices,  and 
alone  equals  the  exercise  of  all  religious  forms. 

As  a  garment  is  made  up  of  single  threads, 
so  every  single  gift  aids  in  building  the  great 
work  of  charity. 


It  is  our  duty  to  relieve  the  poor  and  the 
needy,  to  visit  the  sick  and  bury  the  dead 
without  distinction  of  race  or  creed. 

Whosoever  engages  in  the  study  of  the 

ot  tbe  Ualmut)  35 

Law,  and  does  not  practise  benevolence,  is  to 
be  compared  to  a  man  who  has  no  God. 


Spending  alms  and  practising  benevolence 
exceed  in  importance  all  the  other  laws  of  the 

The  house  that  does  not  open  to  the  poor 
will  open  to  the  physician. 

He  gives  little  who  gives  with  a  frown.  He 
gives  much  who  gives  little  with  a  smile. 


The  world  stands  on  three  things:  on  Law, 
Labor,  and  Benevolence. 

He  who  performs  a  single  good  action 
gains  for  himself  an  Advocate,  and  he  who 
commits  a  single  sin  procures  for  himself  an 

36  Mit  an&  Mist)om 

Iron  breaks  stone;  fire  melts  iron;  water 
extinguishes  fire;  the  clouds  consume  water; 
the  storm  dispels  clouds;  man  withstands  the 
storm;  fear  conquers  man;  wine  banishes 
fear;  sleep  overcomes  wine,  and  death  is  the 
master  of  sleep;  but  "Charity,"  says  Solo- 
mon, "  saves  from  death." 


Four  dispositions  are  found  among  those 
who  bestow  charity.  There  is  he  who  is  will- 
ing to  give,  but  does  not  wish  others  to  give: 
he  has  an  envious  eye  towards  others.  There 
is  he  who  wishes  others  to  give,  but  who  will 
not  give  himself:  he  has  an  evil  eye  towards 
himself.  He  who  is  willing  to  give  and  wishes 
others  to  give  also,  is  a  pious  man.  He  who 
neither  gives  himself  nor  wishes  others  to 
give,  is  a  wicked  man. 


Blessed  is  he  who  gives  from  his  substance 
to  the  poor;  twice  blessed  he  who  accompa- 
nies his  gift  with  kind,  comforting  words. 

ot  tbe  XTalmut)  37 

Almsgiving  is  practised  by  means  of 
money,  but  charity  also  by  personal  services 
and  by  words  of  advice,  sympathy,  and  en- 
couragement. Almsgiving  is  a  duty  towards 
the  poor  only,  but  charity  towards  the  rich  as 
well  as  the  poor,  nay,  even  towards  the  dead 
(by  taking  care  of  their  decent  burial). 

Charitable  people  silence  the  complaints  of 
the  poor.  God  says  to  these  pious  ones:  "  By 
your  Hberality  you  reconcile  the  poor  man 
with  Myself;  you  make  peace  between  us." 


He  who  is  continually  strugghng  with  pov- 
erty is  often  enticed,  on  account  of  his  suffer- 
ings, to  murmur  against  an  all-wise  Provi- 
dence. He  frequently  thinks:  "  Am  I  not 
also  God's  creature?  Why  does  there  exist 
such  difference  between  me  and  the  wealthy? 
He  sleeps  quietly  in  his  splendid  mansion,  and 
I  have  to  lie  in  my  miserable  hut;  he  sleeps 

38  Mit  anD  Mist)om 

in  his  soft  bed,  and  I  am  obliged  to  take  my 
rest  on  the  hard  floor." 


Man  possesses  three  sorts  of  friends  in  this 
world:  his  children,  his  wealth,  and  his  Good 

In  the  hour  of  death  he  calls  his  children 
to  his  bedside:  "  Oh,  save  me  from  the  pangs 
of  death,"  he  cries. 

And  the  afflicted  children  say:  "Thou 
knowest,  dear  father,  that  nothing  can  pre- 
vail against  death;  neither  children,  nor  rela- 
tives, nor  friends  are  able  to  save  man  from 
death."  The  Divine  Word  has  gone  forth 
(Dan.  xii.  13):  "  Go,  sleep  in  peace,  and  pre- 
pare thyself  for  the  day  of  judgment."  Then 
the  dying  man  thinks  of  his  wealth  and  calls 
it  to  his  assistance:  "  Oh,  save  me  from  that 
terrible  sentence  of  death."  And  his  wealth 
answers  him:  "Gold  and  jewels  are  power- 
less in  the  hour  of  God's  wrath;  the  Divine 
Word  has  proclaimed  it." 

ot  tbe  Ualmut)  39 

Whereupon  the  dying  man  calls  his  Good 
Works  and  says  to  them:  "  Oh,  save  me  from 
the  horrors  of  the  pains  of  death;  leave  me 
not  to  myself;  come  accompany  me  and  save 
me,  for  I  was  always  your  friend."  And  the 
Good  Works  answer:  "  Depart  in  peace,  good 
friend!  Even  before  you  arrive  there  for 
judgment,  we  will  have  already  reached  that 
place;  for  the  Divine  Word  has  gone  forth 
to  man:  'Thy  virtue  precedes  thee  on  the 
way,  even  till  heavenly  bliss  receives  thee/  " 
(Isaiah  Iviii.  8.) 

He  who  hesitates  in  the  practice  of  charity 
commits  a  sin.  This  is  proven  in  the  life 
of  Nachum  of  Gamzoo,  so  called  because 
whatever  occurred  to  him,  he  was  in  the 
habit  of  saying:  "  This,  too,  is  for  the  best." 
{Gam  zoo  letobah.)  In  his  old  age  he  became 
blind;  both  of  his  hands  and  both  of  his  feet 
were  amputated,  and  the  trunk  of  his  body 
was  covered  with  many  sores.  His  scholars 
said  to  him:  "If  thou  art  a  righteous  man, 
why  art  thou  so  sorely  afflicted?  "  "  All  this," 
he  answered,  "  I  brought  upon  myself.    Once 

40  Mft  ant)  Misdom 

I  was  travelling  to  my  father-in-law,  and  I 
had  with  me  thirty  asses  laden  with  provisions 
and  all  manner  of  precious  articles.  A  man 
by  the  wayside  called  to  me:  '  Oh,  Rabbi,  as- 
sist me.'  I  told  him  to  wait  until  I  had  un- 
loaded my  asses.  When  I  had  removed  the 
burdens  from  my  beasts,  and  went  to  him,  I 
found  to  my  sorrow  that  he  had  fallen  and 
expired.  I  threw  myself  upon  his  body  and 
wept  bitterly.  *  Let  these  eyes,  which  had  no 
pity  on  thee,  be  blind,'  I  said;  '  these  hands, 
that  delayed  to  assist  thee,  let  them  be  cut  oflF, 
and  also  these  feet,  which  did  not  run  to  aid 
thee.'  And  yet  I  was  not  satisfied  until  I  had 
prayed  that  my  whole  body  be  stricken  with 


One  day  the  Roman  Governor,  T.  Annius 
Rufus,  asked  Rabbi  Akiba:  "  If  your  God  loves 
the  poor  among  the  Hebrews,  why  does  He 
not  support  them?  "  "  Because  God  desires 
to  give  the  rich  an  opportunity  of  doing 
good,"  was  the  Rabbi's  reply.    "  How  do  you 

ot  tbe  UalmuD  41 

know,"  Rufus  rejoined,  "  that  this  virtue  of 
charity  pleases  God,  since  no  master  can  be 
pleased,  if  a  person  aids  a  slave,  whom  he  has 
seen  fit  to  deprive  of  food  and  clothing?  " 
"  Even  so,"  said  Akiba;  "  but  if  the  king,  for 
some  offence,  had  deprived  his  son  of  food 
and  drink,  and  a  person  had  prevented  the 
prince  from  dying  of  hunger,  would  the  king 
be  wroth  with  that  person?  Certainly  not, 
neither  will  God  be  displeased  with  those  who 
dispense  charity  to  His  children,  even  to  the 
fallen  and  the  sinful." 


It  is  said  of  Rabbi  Tarphon  that  though  a 
wealthy  man,  he  was  not  charitable  according 
to  his  means.  One  time  Rabbi  Akiba  said  to 
him:  "  Shall  I  invest  some  money  for  real 
estate  in  a  manner  which  will  be  very  profit- 
able? "  Rabbi  Tarphon  answered  in  the  af- 
firmative, and  brought  to  Rabbi  Akiba  four 
thousand  denars  in  gold,  to  be  so  applied. 
Rabbi  Akiba  immediately  distributed  the  same 
among  the  poor.  Some  time  after  this  Rabbi 
Tarphon  met  Rabbi  Akiba  and  asked  him 

42  Mtt  anD  Midt)om 

where  the  real  estate  which  he  had  bought  for 
him  was  situated.  Akiba  led  him  to  the  col- 
lege, and  showed  him  a  little  boy,  who  recited 
for  them  the  112th  Psalm.  When  he  reached 
the  ninth  verse,  '  He  distributeth,  he  giveth 
to  the  needy,  his  righteousness  endureth  for- 
ever,'— "  There,"  said  Akiba,  "  thy  property 
is  with  David,  the  king  of  Israel,  who  said, 
*  He  distributeth,  he  giveth  to  the  needy.'  " 
"  And  wherefore  hast  thou  done  this?  "  asked 
Tarphon.  "  Knowest  thou  not,"  answered 
Rabbi  Akiba,  "  how  Nakdimon,  the  son  of 
Guryon,  was  punished  because  he  gave  not 
according  to  his  means?  "  "  Well,"  returned 
the  other,  "why  didst  thou  not  tell  me  this; 
could  I  not  have  distributed  my  means  with- 
out any  aid?  "  "  Nay,"  said  Akiba,  "  it  is  a 
greater  virtue  to  cause  another  to  give  than 
to  give  oneself."  From  this  we  may  learn 
that  he  who  is  not  charitable  according  to  his 
means  will  be  punished. 


Credit  and  mutual  trust  should  be  the  foun- 
dation of  commercial  intercourse. 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  43 


There  are  some  who  preach  beautifully,  but 
practise  not  their  beautiful  doctrine. 

The  learned  man  should  judge  himself  ac- 
cording to  his  own  teaching,  and  not  do  any- 
thing that  he  has  forbidden  others  to  do. 


Little  is  much,  if  the  heart  be  but  turned 
toward  heaven. 

Who  is  rich?  He  who  is  satisfied  with  his 


The  camel  wanted  to  have  horns,  and  they 
took  away  his  ears. 

One  bird  tied  is  better  than  a  hundred  fly- 

44  ^it  an^  TPQlidOom 

Drink  not  from  one  cup  with  thine  eye  fast- 
ened on  another. 


The  egg  of  to-day  is  better  than  the  hen  of 


A  small  quantity  in  the  house  is  better  than 
much  at  a  distance. 

Grasp  a  little  and  you  may  secure  it;  grasp 
too  much  and  you  will  lose  everything. 

Better  eat  onions  all  thy  life  than  dine  upon 
geese  and  chickens  once  and  then  long  in  vain 
for  more  ever  after. 


He  that  hires  one  garden  will  eat  birds;  he 
that  hires  many  gardens,  the  birds  will  eat 

ot  tbc  UalmuD  45 

Crave  not  after  the  table  of  kings:  for  thy 
cable  is  greater  than  their  table,  and  thy 
crown  is  greater  than  their  crown;  and  the 
Master  who  employs  thee  is  faithful  to  pay  the 
reward  of  thy  labor. 


One  inward  contrition  in  the  heart  of  man 
is  better  than  many  flagellations. 


Be  in  the  habit  of  receiving  every  man  with 
a  pleasant  countenance. 


Cold  water,  morning  and  evening,  is  better 
than  all  the  cosmetics. 


The  question  is  asked,  "  Why  is  man  born 
with  hands  clinched,  but  has  his  hands  wide 
open  in  death?  "    And  the  answer  is:  On  en- 

46  Mit  ant)  Wisdom 

tering  the  world  man  desires  to  grasp  every- 
thing, but  when  leaving  it  he  takes  nothing 

Even  as  a  fox  who  saw  a  fine  vineyard,  and 
lusted  after  its  grapes,  but  being  too  fat  to 
get  through  the  only  opening  there  was,  he 
fasted  three  days.  He  then  got  in;  but,  hav- 
ing fed,  he  could  not  get  out  until  he  had 
fasted  three  days  more.  "  Naked  man  enter*; 
the  world,  and  naked  does  he  leave." 


Do  not  put  a  greater  burden  upon  thy  beast 
than  it  can  bear. 


To  have  compassion  upon  animals  is  one  of 
the  laws  of  Moses. 


He  who  has  no  mercy  upon  animals  shall 
himself  suffer  pain. 

ot  tbe  Xi;almu5  47 

A  man  should  not  buy  cattle  or  poultry 
without  having  first  bought  food  for  them. 


Death  is  the  haven  of  life,  and  old  age  the 
ship  which  enters  the  port. 


Do  not  speak  ill  of  the  departed,  but  re- 
member that  his  soul  still  lives,  though  the 
body  is  dead. 


It  is  our  duty  to  comply  with  the  last  wishes 
of  a  dying  person. 


Go  to  sleep  without  supper,  but  rise  with- 
out debt. 


He  who  deceives  his  neighbor  would  also 
deceive  his  God. 

48  TKHit  an^  Miat)om 

Under  no  consideration  lead  men  astray. 

The  thief's  end  is  the  gallows. 


There  is  no  greater  evil-doer  than  he  who 
takes  away  the  earnings  of  the  poor. 

A  lie  has  not  a  leg  to  stand  upon. 


Dignity  does  not  consist  in  a  silk  dress. 


One  loose  cord  loosens  many. 


Thy  friend  has  a  friend,  and  thy  friend's 
friend  has  a  friend;  be  discreet. 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  49 


In  the  town  where  one  lives  the  name  will 
do;  outside  of  it  the  dress  must  do. 

The  learned  man  whose  garment  is  soiled 
is  undeserving  of  honor. 


Live  within  your  means;    spend  more  on 
your  clothing  and  most  on  your  home. 


An  envious  man  frowns  when  his  neighbor 


Error  soon  loses  itself. 


Precept  with  example  produces  example. 

50  Mtt  ant)  MisOom 

Two  dry  logs  and  one  wet;  the  dry  ones 
kindle  the  wet. 

Let  every  man  watch  his  own  doings  that 
he  may  be  an  example  to  his  fellow  man 
through  life. 


Experience  is  the  mirror  of  the  mind. 


He  who  seeks  fame  often  loses  it. 


No  one  is  permitted  to  afflict  himself  by  un- 
necessary fasting. 


Man  sees  all  the  faults  but  his  own. 


Do  not  blame  in  others  your  own  faults. 

ot  tbe  ITalmub  51 

He  who  seeks  for  a  faultless  brother  will 
have  to  remain  brotherless. 

He  who  sees  his  own  faults  is  too  much 
occupied  to  see  the  faults  of  others. 

He  who  blames  others  is  full  of  blame  him- 
self; and  the  fault  he  sees  in  others  may  be 
seen  in  himself. 


He  who  raises  a  hand  against  a  fellow  man, 
even  if  he  injure  him  not,  is  called  wicked. 

He  who  shames  a  fellow  man  in  public  is  a 


Let  not  your  lips  speak  that  which  is  not    | 
in  your  heart. 

Love  those  who  reprove  thee,  and  hate 

52  Mlt  nrit>  "QdiBbom 

those  who  flatter  thee;   for  reproof  may  lead 
thee  to  eternal  life,  flattery  to  destruction. 


Do  not  live  near  a  pious  fool. 

An  ass  tied  to  the  sun — (A  fool  in  a  high  sta- 


The   pious   fool,    the   hypocrite,   and   the 

flagellating  Pharisee  are  destroyers  of  human 



Be  not  the  friend  of  one  who  wears  the 
cloak  of  a  saint  to  cover  the  moral  deformi- 
ties of  a  knave. 

If  thy  friends  agree  in  calling  thee  an  ass, 
go  and  get  a  halter  around  thee. 

Rather  be  thou  called  a  fool  all  thy  days 
than  walk  one  hour  before  the  All-Seeing  Eye 
in  evil  ways. 

ot  tbe  Ualmut)  53 


It  is  sinful  to  hate,  but  noble  to  pardon. 

He  who  wishes  to  be  forgiven  must  for- 


He  who  pretends  to  be  halt  or  blind  in  or- 
der to  appeal  to  popular  sympathy,  will  be 
afflicted  with  these  infirmities  sooner  or  later. 


Friendship  or  death. 


An  old  friend  do  not  forsake. 

Ascend  a  step  in  choosing  a  friend. 

To  have  no  faithful  friends  is  worse  than 

54  "Q^tt  and  mts^om 

If  thy  friend  is  honey,  do  not  lick  him  up 

Thy  own  deeds  make  thy  friends  or  thy 

One  enemy  is  one  too  many,  a  thousand 
friends  are  none  too  many. 

Do  not  blame  thy  friend  for  shortcomings 
which  thou  hast  thyself. 

There  are  many  friends  at  the  door  of  the 
store,  but  there  are  none  at  the  door  of  misery. 


The  dog  follows  thee,  but  his  attachment  is 
to  the  crumb  which  he  expects  of  thee. 

New  things  are  the  best  things;  old  friends 
are  the  best  friends. 

ot  tbe  Ualmu&  55 

He  who  asks  more  of  a  friend  than  he  can 
bestow,  deserves  to  be  refused. 

A  man  without  friends  is  like  the  left  hand 
without  the  right. 


Be  humble  to  thy  superior,  affable  to  thy 
inferior,  meet  every  man  with  friendliness. 


At  the  gate  of  abundance  there  are  many 
brothers  and  friends;  at  the  gate  of  misery 
there  is  neither  brother  nor  friend. 


Know  that  thou  art  always  in  God's  Pres- 


Reverence  of  God  is  the  basis  of  morality. 


56  mutt  and  Misdom 

We  cannot  comprehend  either  the  pros- 
perity or  the  sufferings  of  the  righteous. 

From  beginning  to  end  God's  law  teaches 

Whatever  God  does  is  done  for  our  good. 


The  consciousness  of  God's  presence  is  the 
first  principle  of  religion. 


I         Cling  steadfastly  to  that  which  is  good. 

There  are  three  who  are  especially  beloved 
by  God:  he  who  is  forbearing,  he  who  is  tem- 
perate, and  he  who  is  courteous. 


Men  should  thank  God  alike  for  evil  and  for 

ot  tbe  Ualmut)  57 


How  may  a  man  obtain  greatness?  By 
fidelity,  truth,  and  lofty  thoughts. 


He  who  denies  his  guilt  doubles  his  guilt. 

If  any  blame  be  attached  to  thee,  be  the 
first  to  declare  it. 

He  through  whose  agency  another  has  been 
falsely  punished  stands  outside  of  heaven's 


Habit  strips  sin  of  its  enormity. 

Habit  becomes  natural. 

Duties  Between  Husbands  and  Wives 

A  man's  home  means  his  wife. 

58  Mft  auD  Misbom 

Who  is  rich?    He  who  has  a  good  wife. 

An  unkind  wife  is  a  mental  affliction. 

From  his  first  love  man  derives  true  wedded 

Honor  your  wife  that  you  may  become 

He  who  has  no  wife  is  esteemed  as  dead. 

He  who  divorces  his  wife  is  hated  before 


Love  your  wife  like  yourself;    honor  her 
more  than  yourself. 

ot  tbe  XTalmut)  59 

When  the  wife  of  a  man's  youth  dies,  the 
altar  of  the  Lord  is  in  mourning. 


A  true  wife  makes  the  home  a  holy  place. 

As  soon  as  a  man  marries  his  sins  decrease. 


He  who  lives  without  a  wife  is  no  perfect 


A  man  should  be  careful  not  to  afflict  his 
wife,  for  God  counts  her  tears. 

He  who  marries  for  money,  his  children 
shall  be  a  curse  to  him. 

Love  your  wife  truly  and  faithfully,  and  do 
not  compel  her  to  hard  work. 

6o  Mit  ant)  MisOom 

If  thy  wife  is  small,  bend  down  to  take  her 

Let  a  man  be  careful  to  honor  his  wife, 
for  he  owes  to  her  alone  all  the  blessings  of 
his  house. 

Let  youth  and  old  age  not  be  joined  in  mar- 
riage, lest  the  purity  and  peace  of  domestic 
life  be  disturbed. 

A  man's  wife  has  scarcely  breathed  her  last 
when  another  is  waiting  to  take  her  place. 

All  the  blessings  of  a  household  come 
through  the  wife,  therefore  should  her  hus- 
band honor  her. 

First  build  a  house  and  plant  a  vineyard 

ot  tbe  UalmuD  6i 

(i.e.,  provide  for  the  means  of  the  household), 
and  then  take  a  wife. 


If  in  anger  the  one  hand  remove  thy  wife 
or  thy  child,  let  the  other  hand  again  bring 
them  back  to  thy  heart. 


All  ailings,  only  not  the  ailing  of  heart;  all 
evils,  but  not  an  evil  wife. 


It  is  as  difficult  to  effect  suitable  matri- 
monial matches  as  it  was  to  divide  the  Red 

To  be  unmarried  is  to  live  without  joy,  with- 
out blessing,  without  kindness,  without  reli- 
gion, and  without  peace. 


A  handsome  dwelling,  a  pretty  wife,  and 

63  IXXit  anD  1KIlisC)om 

beautiful  furniture,  exert  a  cheering  influence 
upon  a  man's  spirits. 


The  husband  should  always  endeavor  to 
provide  bread  for  his  house,  for  quarrel  be- 
gins mostly  on  account  of  improvidence. 


The  majority  of  children  resemble  their 
maternal  uncles;  hence  the  choice  of  a  wife 
should  be  determined  by  the  character  of  her 


He  who  loves  his  wife  as  his  own  self,  and 
honors  her  more  than  himself,  and  he  who 
educates  his  children  in  the  right  way,  to  him 
applies  the  Divine  promise,  "  Thou  shalt  know 
that  there  is  peace  in  thy  tent." 

From  the  age  of  twenty,  if  a  man  remain  in 
a  state  of  celibacy,  he  lives  in  constant  trans- 

ot  tbe  XTalmuD  63 

gression.  Up  to  that  age  the  Holy  One  waits 
for  him  to  enter  the  state  of  matrimony,  and 
woe  to  his  bones  if  he  does  not  marry  then! 

He  who  sees  his  wife  die  before  him  has,  as 
it  were,  been  present  at  the  destruction  of  the 
Temple,  and  around  him  the  world  grows 
dark.  It  is  woman  alone  through  whom 
God's  blessings  are  vouchsafed  to  a  house. 
She  teaches  the  children,  speeds  the  husband 
to  the  house  of  worship  and  instruction,  wel- 
comes him  when  he  returns,  keeps  the  house 
godly  and  pure;  and  God's  blessings  rest  upon 
all  these  things. 

Duties  Between  Parents  and  Children 

The  daughter  is  as  the  mother  was. 

When  the  calf  kicks,  'tis  time  to  thrash  the 


What  the  child  says  out  of  doors  he  has 
learnt  in  doors. 

64  Mit  anO  TRIlisbom 

The  daughter's  doings  have  been  the  moth- 
er's acts. 


Do  not  confine  your  children  to  your  own 
learning,  for  they  were  born  in  another  time. 


Where  the  children  honor  their  parents, 
there  God  dwells,  there  He  is  honored. 


Parental   love   should   be   impartial;    one 
child  must  not  be  preferred  to  the  other. 


The  honor  and  reverence  due  to  parents  are 
equal  to  the  honor  and  reverence  due  to  God. 


It  is  a  father's  duty  not  only  to  provide  for 
his  minor  children,  but  also  to  take  care  of 
their  instruction,  and  to  teach  his  son  a  trade 

ot  tbe  UalmuD  65 

and  whatever  is  necessary  for  his  future  wel- 

Children's  Obligations  to  Parents 

"  Respect  your  parents  as  you  respect  Me," 
says  God. 


A  son  must,  if  necessary,  feed  and  support 
his  parents. 


A  child  owes  his  life  to  three:  to  God,  to  his 
father,  and  to  his  mother. 


Dama  bar  Netina,  a  heathen,  of  whom 
once  some  customers  desired  to  buy  wheat, 
for  which  they  offered  him  a  high  price  on 
account  of  its  scarcity,  said  to  them:  "  I  can- 
not sell  at  present,  for  the  key  to  the  store  lies 
under  the  pillow  whereupon  my  father  is 
now  asleep.    I  dare  not  disturb  his  rest." 

(^  Mit  anD  MisOom 

Only  when  the  father  tempts  the  son  to 
commit  sin  is  disobedience  justifiable. 


He  who  honors  his  father  and  mother  en- 
joys the  fruit  in  this  life,  and  stores  up  a  treas- 
ure for  the  future. 


While  the  son  honors  his  parents,  God  holds 
it  as  if  He  were  dwelling  near  the  child,  and 
were  Himself  receiving  honor. 


Even  if  it  happens  that  the  son  is  a  teacher, 
yet  if  the  father  is  present,  the  son  must  rise 
before  him  in  the  presence  of  all  his  pupils. 

When  a  son  is  called  to  do  a  service  for  his 
parents,  he  must  first  see  that  his  person  is 
tidy  and  clean;  for  a  child  must  attend  to  his 
parents  as  though  they  were  his  king  and 

ot  tbe  XTalmu^  67 

A  child  must  not  stand  or  sit  in  the  place 
which  his  father  is  in  the  habit  of  occupying. 
He  must  not  contradict  his  father,  and  when 
he  names  him  he  must  use  a  term  of  respect, 
such  as  "  my  honored  father." 


A  child  must  love  and  honor  his  parents 
while  they  are  living,  and  must  love  and  re- 
spect them  after  they  are  dead;  and  as  they 
loved  and  honored  God,  he  must  love  and 
honor  God,  and  thus  make  his  parents  live 
again  in  his  own  good  deeds. 


If  in  after  life  the  son  prospers  and  is  richer 
than  his  father,  he  must  see  that  his  prosperity 
is  shared  by  his  parents.  He  must  not  live  in 
greater  luxury  than  they;  he  must  not  allow 
them  to  suffer  poverty  while  he  enjoys  wealth. 
But  the  son  must  not  make  himself  obnoxious 
by  too  many  attentions. 

68  mat  ant)  Mis^om 


j       Do  not  buy  stolen  goods. 

An  Israelite  is  prohibited  from  deceiving 
even  an  idolater. 

The  most  worthy  crown  is  a  good  reputa- 


When  the  thief  has  no  opportunity  to  steal 
he  considers  himself  an  honest  man. 


]        It  is  not  the  amount  of  trade  that  makes  the 
man  poor  or  rich,  but  honest  working  and 
j     dealing. 

He  who  unjustly  hands  over  one  man's 
goods  to  another,  he  shall  pay  God  for  it  with 
his  own  soul. 

ot  tbe  Xi;almuO  69 

On  the  soul's  appearance  before  the  Divine 
Tribunal,  the  first  question  will  be,  "  Hast 
thou  been  honest  and  faithful  in  all  thy  deal- 
ings? " 


Rab  Safra  had  a  jewel  for  which  he  asked 
the  price  of  ten  pieces  of  gold.  Several  deal- 
ers saw  the  jewel  and  offered  five  gold  pieces. 
Rab  Safra  declined,  and  the  merchants  left 
him.  After  a  second  consideration,  he,  how- 
ever, resolved  upon  selling  the  jewel  for  five 
pieces.  The  next  day,  just  as  Rab  Safra  was 
at  prayers,  the  merchants  unexpectedly  re- 
turned: "Sir,"  said  they  to  him,  "we  come 
to  you  again  to  do  business  after  all.  Do  you 
wish  to  part  with  the  jewel  for  the  price  we  of- 
fered you?  "  But  Rab  Safra  made  no  reply. 
"  Well,  well;  be  not  angered;  we  will  add  an- 
other two  pieces."  Rab  Safra  still  remained 
silent.  "  Well,  then,  be  it  as  you  say;  we  will 
give  you  ten  pieces,  the  price  you  asked."  By 
this  time  Rab  Safra  had  ended  his  prayer,  and 
said:  "Sirs,  I  was  at  prayers,  and  could  not 
hear  you.    As  for  the  jewel,  I  have  already 

70  IKIltt  ant)  MtsOom 

resolved  upon  selling  it  at  the  price  you  of- 
fered me  yesterday.  If  you  then  pay  me  five 
pieces  of  gold,  I  shall  be  satisfied." 


"  What  induces  theft?  "  asked  a  schoolmas- 
ter of  his  scholars.  One  answered  "  Hunger;  " 
another  "Extravagance;"  another  "Envy." 
But  one,  wiser  than  the  rest,  replied  "  Receiv- 
ers." "Well  answered,"  said  the  schoolmaster. 
For  King  Solomon  says,  *  Whosoever  is  part- 
ner with  a  thief  hateth  his  own  soul,'  which 
means,  he  who  derives  gain  from  a  thief  by 
helping  him  to  realize  the  profit  of  the  theft 
is  thoroughly  dishonest  himself,  and  of  the 
two  is  the  more  culpable.  This  proverb  is 
illustrated  in  the  Midrash  as  follows:  A  pow- 
erful and  wise  prince  once  made  a  law  that 
the  receiver  of  stolen  property  should  be 
hanged,  and  the  thief  go  free.  This  caused 
great  discontent  among  certain  people  who 
lived  in  luxury  and  entertained  lavishly,  and 
likewise  among  others  who  had  sufficient 
sense  to  understand  the  true  intent  of  the 
law.    The  prince,  anxious  to  teach  the  people 

ot  tbe  Ualmu&  71 

the  wisdom  of  his  edict,  ordered  all  his 
subjects  to  meet  him  on  a  large  field,  which 
he  had  prepared  for  the  occasion.  Now,  the 
day  before  they  met,  he  had  the  ground 
pierced  with  a  number  of  holes.  The  peo- 
ple assembled,  and  the  prince  ordered  various 
pieces  of  meat  to  be  strewn  all  over  the 
ground,  and  a  few  weasels  to  be  let  loose. 
In  a  very  short  time  the  weasels  disappeared 
down  the  holes  with  the  meat.  On  the  mor- 
row, the  prince  again  assembled  the  people, 
again  distributed  the  dainty  morsels  of  meat, 
and  again  let  loose  the  thieving  weasels;  but 
he  had  taken  the  precaution  to  have  every  hole 
and  nook  stopped  up.  So  when  the  weasels 
pounced  upon  the  meat  and  ran  with  it  toward 
the  holes,  where,  the  day  before,  they  had 
eaten  it,  they  found  the  holes  closed  against 
them;  unable  to  dispose  of  the  meat,  they 
dropped  it.  *  Behold,'  said  the  king,  *  theft 
prospers  only  when  thieves  can  dispose  of 
their  ill-gotten  goods.' " 


7^  Mft  an&  MisDom 


Guard   with   jealous   care   thy   neighbor's 

Hold  your  neighbor's  honor  as  sacred  as 
your  own. 


Be  as  eager  to  secure  thy  fellow's  honor  as 
thine  own,  and  yield  not  easily  to  anger. 


The  right  way  for  man  to  choose  is  to  do 
that  which  is  honorable  in  his  own  eyes  (i.e., 
approved  by  his  conscience)  and  at  the  same 
time  honorable  in  the  eyes  of  his  fellow  men. 


Hospitality  is  as  important  as  divine  wor- 

01  voc  Xlalmuo  73 

Let  thy  house  be  open  wide  as  a  refuge, 
and  let  the  poor  be  cordially  received  within 
thy  walls. 


Rather  be  thou  the  tail  among  lions  than 
the  head  among  foxes. 


He  who  humiliates  himself  will  be  lifted  up; 
he  who  raises  himself  up  will  be  humiliated. 


Whosoever  runs  after  greatness,  greatnesi 
runs  away  from  him ;  he  who  runs  from  great* 
ness,  greatness  follows  him. 


When   the   woman    slumbers,    the   work- 
basket  falls  to  the  ground. 

74  Wit  anD  Mi^^om 


"  If  your  God  hates  idolatry,  why  does  He 
not  destroy  it?"  Rufus,  the  Roman,  asked 
Rabbi  Akiba.  "  Would  you  have  Him  destroy 
this  beautiful  world  for  the  sake  of  the  foolish 
people  who  worship  the  sun,  the  moon,  or  the 
stars,  that  are  but  the  servants  of  God? " 
Akiba  replied. 


The  "  Spirit  of  Evil "  entices  a  man  in  this 
world,  and  testifies  against  him  in  the  next. 

The  "  evil  imagination "  takes  advantage 
only  of  visible  objects. 

An  evil  eye,  an  "  evil  imagination,"  and 
misanthropy  banish  a  man  from  the  world. 


A  special  mansion  will  be  given  in  Heaven 
to  every  pious  man. 

of  tbe  Ualmut)  75 

This  world  is  like  a  road-side  inn,  but  the 
world  to  come  is  like  the  real  home. 

The  longest  life  is  insufficient  for  the  ful- 
filment of  half  of  man's  desires. 

Better  one  hour's  happiness  in  the  next 
world  than  a  whole  lifetime  of  pleasure  in 

One  man  may  earn  immortality  by  the  work 
of  a  few  short  years,  while  others  earn  it  by 
the  work  of  a  long  life. 

He  who  lays  up  no  store  of  good  deeds  dur- 
ing the  working  days  of  life  can  never  enjoy 
the  eternal  Sabbath. 

This  world  is  an  antechamber  to  the  next. 

1^  msx  auD  Mtsbom 

Prepare  thyself  in  the  antechamber  that  thou 
mayest  worthily  enter  the  throne-room. 


The  just  of  all  nations  have  a  portion  in  the 
future  reward. 


For  the  righteous  there  is  no  rest,  neither 
in  this  world  nor  in  the  next,  for  they  go,  say 
the  Scriptures,  "  from  strength  unto  strength, 
from  task  to  task,  until  they  shall  see  God  in 

The  grave  is  like  a  Melotian  (silken)  rai- 
ment for  the  pious  man,  who  comes  fully  pro- 
vided with  provisions;  the  pious  man  can  look 
upon  the  future  life  without  fear,  because  he 
comes  to  the  other  world  well  prepared. 

"  Man  is  born  to  die,  but  the  dead  shall  live 
again."    "  Better  is  the  day  of  death  than  the 

ot  tbe  UalmuD  ^^ 

day  of  birth."  These  sayings  are  illustrated 
as  follows:  Two  vessels  sail  on  the  ocean  at 
one  and  the  same  time;  the  one  is  leaving,  the 
other  entering  the  harbor.  For  the  one  which 
arrived  a  number  of  friends  had  prepared  a 
great  feast,  and  with  clapping  of  hands  and 
great  vociferations  of  joy,  they  celebrated  her 
arrival,  while  the  one  which  was  leaving  re- 
ceived sighs  and  tears.  An  intelligent  man, 
who  was  a  spectator  of  what  passed,  said: 
"  Here  quite  the  reverse  appears  to  take 
place,  as  otherwise  ought  to  happen.  They 
rejoice  over  the  one  which  cometh  and  feel 
saddened  over  the  departure  of  the  other. 
What  a  fallacy.  Rejoice  over  the  one  which 
has  accomplished  its  voyage  and  is  return- 
ing from  many  dangers  to  safety,  and  be- 
wail rather  the  vessel  which  is  coming  in, 
for  she  will  have  to  brave  again  the  storms 
of  an  inconstant  sea."  The  same  when 
man  is  born,  great  rejoicing  takes  place, 
while  at  his  death  much  grief  is  expressed. 
One  ought  to  weep  at  his  birth,  because  no 
one  is  certain  whether  he  will  be  able  to 
overcome  the  dangers  and  temptations  of 
life;  whilst  at  his  death  one  ought  to  feel 
pleased  if  he  only  leaves  a  good  name  behind 

78  Mit  anO  TKIll0&om 

him.  At  his  birth  man  is  entered  into  the 
book  of  death;  when  he  dies  he  is  entered  into 
the  book  of  Hfe. 


Despise  not  small  favors. 

Into  the  well  from  which  thou  drinkest  do 
not  cast  a  stone. 

He  who  eats  and  drinks,  but  blesses  not  the 
Lord,  is  even  as  he  who  stealeth. 

Once  a  man  journeyed  from  Palestine  to 
Babylon.  While  at  his  meal,  he  noticed  a 
fierce  strife  between  two  birds,  which  ended 
in  the  apparent  death  of  the  one.  When  the 
other,  however,  noticed  that  its  companion 
was  dead,  it  hastened  to  search  for  a  special 
kind  of  herb,  which  it  brought  and  laid  on  the 

of  tbe  xralmu&  79 

beak  of  the  corpse,  and  soon  thereafter  the 
dead  bird  revived.  The  traveller  saw  this  with 
astonishment  and  procured  a  sample  of  the 
herb.  On  journeying-  further,  he  met  with  a 
dead  lion,  and  concluded  to  make  the  experi- 
ment upon  him.  He  succeeded  in  reviving 
the  lion,  but  no  sooner  had  the  latter  regained 
his  strength  than  he  tore  his  benefactor  to 


When  he  was  a  puppy  I  fed  him,  and  when 
he  became  a  dog  he  bit  me. 


Do  as  much  or  little  as  thou  canst,  only  let 
thy  intention  be  always  good. 


Every  nation  has  its  special  guardian  angel, 
its  horoscopes,  its  ruling  planets  and  stars. 
But  there  is  no  planet  for  Israel.  Israel  shall 
look  but  to  God.    There  is  no  mediator  be- 

8o  XWlit  an^  lKaf8^om 

tween  those  who  are  called  His  children  and 
their  Father  which  is  in  Heaven. 


A  king  married  a  woman  and  made  her 
magnificent  promises.  Soon  after  he  was 
obliged  to  leave  her  and  undertake  a  pro- 
tracted journey.  He  stayed  away  a  long  time, 
and  the  neglected  wife  was  repeatedly  of- 
fended by  her  neighbors,  who  said:  "The 
king  has  left  thee;  he  will  never  return."  The 
poor  woman  wept  and  lamented,  but  always 
regained  comfort  in  the  expectation  of  the 
fulfilment  of  her  husband's  magnificent  prom- 
ises. After  a  long  time  the  king  at  last  re- 
turned, and  exclaimed:  "  My  beloved  wife, 
I  am  really  astonished  at  thy  faithful  perse- 
verance during  so  many  years."  "  My  lord 
and  king,"  she  rejoined,  "  if  thy  promises  had 
not  sustained  me,  I  had  long  ago  succumbed 
to  the  advice  of  my  neighbors."  This  woman, 
such  is  the  beautiful  application,  represents 
Israel,  who,  in  spite  of  all  temptations  and  en- 
ticements made  by  any  other  nations,  faith- 
fully bears  the  long  separation   from   God, 

ot  tbe  Ualmut)  8i 

hoping   for   the   fulfilment   of   the   glorious 
promises  contained  in  Holy  Scriptures. 


He  that  cherishes  jealousy  in  his  heart,  his 
bones  rot. 


One  seldom  meets  a  man  who  likes  his  fel- 
low artist. 


Judge  everybody  favorably. 


Judge  not   thy   neighbor  until  thou  hast 
been  placed  in  his  position. 

Judge   charitably    every   man   and   justify 
him  all  you  can. 

Man  sees  the  mote  in  his  neighbor's  eye, 
but  knows  not  of  the  beam  in  his  own. 

82  Mit  anO  'Qmis&om 

A  certain  man  who  was  once  hired  to  work 
for  a  stipulated  daily  wage,  and  who  worked 
for  three  years  without  having  drawn  his  earn- 
ings, at  length  desired  to  go  home  and  de- 
manded his  accumulations  from  his  employer. 
"  I  have  no  money  just  now,"  said  the  em- 
ployer. "  Give  me  then  some  of  your  prod- 
uce," demanded  the  employee.  "  I  regret  very 
much,"  said  the  master,  "  that  I  cannot  com- 
ply with  thy  request."  He  asked  him  for  cat- 
tle, for  wine  or  vineyard,  but  the  master  de- 
clared he  was  unable  to  give  him  anything. 
With  a  heavy  sigh  the  poor  laborer  took 
his  tools  and  without  a  murmur  departed. 
Scarcely  had  he  gone  when  the  employer  or- 
dered three  asses  laden  with  eatables,  drink- 
ables and  wearing  apparel,  and  personally 
rode  to  the  residence  of  the  laborer,  who  at 
once  prepared  a  meal  for  his  master,  and  they 
ate  and  drank  together.  After  a  while  the 
employer  drew  forth  a  bag  of  money  and 
handing  it  to  the  astonished  employee,  told 
him  that  the  provisions-laden  asses  were  his 
also.  Thereupon  the  following  dialogue  en- 

ot  tbe  XTalmuD  83 

Employer.  "  What  was  in  thy  mind  when 
I  told  thee  I  had  no  money?  " 

Employee.  "  I  thought  thou  hadst  un- 
fortunately lost  it." 

Employer.  "  And  when  I  told  thee  I  had 
no  cattle? " 

Employee.  "  That  others  claimed  it  for  a 
debt  incurred  prior  to  mine." 

Employer.  "What  couldst  thou  have 
thought  when  I  told  thee  I  had  no  field?  " 

Employee.  "  That  it  might  have  been 

Employer.  "  And  when  I  told  thee  I  had 
no  fruit?  " 

Employee.  "  That  it  might  not  have  been 
tithed  yet." 

Employer.  "  But  what  didst  thou  think 
when  I  told  thee  I  had  no  vineyard  nor 
wine?  " 

Employee.  "  It  came  to  my  mind  that, 
perchance,  thou  hadst  sanctified  both  wine 
and  vineyard  as  gifts  to  the  Temple." 

Employer.  "Ah,  thou  art  a  godly  man. 
Faithfully  hast  thou  complied  with  the  ethical 
doctrine  '  Judge  everybody  favorably.'    Thou 

84  Mit  an&  mfsDom 

hast  judged  me  favorably  and  God  judge  thee 


God  alone  can  judge. 


In  the  hour  when  the  Judge  sits  in  judg- 
ment over  his  fellow  men,  he  shall  feel,  as  it 
were,  a  sword  pointed  at  his  own  heart. 

When  the  soul  appears  before  the  Judg- 
ment-Seat it  is  asked: 

"  Hast  thou  been  honest  in  all  thy  deal- 
ings? " 

"  Hast  thou  set  aside  a  portion  of  thy  time 
for  the  study  of  the  Law?  " 

"  Hast  thou  observed  the  first  command- 
ment? " 

**  Hast  thou  in  trouble  still  hoped  and  be- 
lieved in  God?  " 

"  Hast  thou  spoken  the  truth?  " 

ot  tbe  Ualmu&  85 


Whatever  is  hateful  to  thee,  do  not  to  thy 

Thy  neighbor's  property  must  be  as  sacred 
to  thee  as  thine  own. 

From  the  very  spoon  that  the  carver 
carved,  he  has  to  swallow  hot  mustard. 

Wrong  neither  thy  brother  in  faith  nor  him 
who  differs  from  thee  in  faith. 

•The  shepherd  is  lame  and  the  goats  are 
nimble,  but  at  the  entrance  of  the  fold  they 
will  have  to  meet  him  and  at  the  door  of  the 
stable  they  will  be  counted. 


Love  labor  and  hate  to  be  a  professional 

86  TRUit  mt>  Mis&om 

Great  is  the  dignity  of  labor;    it  honors 


He  who  helps  himself  will  be  helped  by 


The  laborer  is  allowed  to  shorten  his  pray- 


He  who  teaches  his  son  no  trade  is  as  if  he 
taught  him  to  steal. 


The  laborer  at  his  work  needs  not  rise  be- 
fore the  greatest  doctor. 


He  who  does  not  teach  his  son  a  handicraft 
trade  neglects  his  parental  duty. 

ot  tbe  Xi;almu&  87 

Beautiful  is  the  intellectual  occupation,  if 
combined  with  some  practical  work. 


It  is  well  to  add  a  trade  to  your  studies; 
you  will  then  be  free  from  sin. 


Work  is  more  pleasant  in  the  sight  of  the 
Lord  than  the  merits  of  your  fathers. 


He  who  lives  by  the  work  of  his  hands  is 
greater  than  he  who  indulges  in  idle  piety. 


He  who  derives  his  livelihood  from  the 
labor  of  his  hands  is  as  great  as  he  who  fears 


Happy  the  child  who  sees  its  parents  en- 
gage in  an  honest  trade;  woe  to  the  child  who 

88  Mit  and  TKIlisdom 

must  blush  on  account  of  their  dishonest 

Get  your  living  by  skinning  carcasses  in  the 
street,  if  you  cannot  otherwise,  and  do  not 
say,  "  I  am  a  priest,  I  am  a  great  man;  this 
work  would  not  befit  my  dignity." 


The  beginning  and  end  of  the  Law  is  kind- 

The  study  of  the  Law,  when  not  sustained 
by  secular  work,  must  come  to  an  end,  and 
involve  one  in  sin. 

He  who  studies  the  Law  in  his  youth  gets 
its  words  absorbed  in  his  blood,  and  they  come 
readily  from  his  mouth. 

He  who  studies  the  Law  in  his  youth  is  lilce 

ot  tbc  Ualmu&  89 

a  young  man  marrying  a  virgin,  suited  to  him; 
but  he  who  begins  the  study  of  the  Law  in 
his  old  age  is  like  an  old  man  marrying  a  vir- 
gin who  suits  him,  but  who  does  not  suit  her. 


Laughter  and  levity  habituate  a  man  to 

Beware  of  too  much  laughter,  for  it  dead- 
ens the  mind  and  produces  oblivion. 


Life  is  a  passing  shadow,  says  the  Scripture. 
Is  it  the  shadow  of  a  tower  or  a  tree?  A 
shadow  that  prevails  for  a  while?  No;  it  is 
the  shadow  of  a  bird  in  his  flight — away  flies 
the  bird  and  there  is  neither  bird  nor  shadow. 


Lend  to  the  poor  in  the  time  of  their  need. 

90  Mit  an^  TRIlis^om 

Never  take  the  clothes  of  wife  or  children 
in  payment  of  a  debt. 

If  you  have  taken  of  a  man  his  plough  or  his 
pillow  for  debt,  return  his  plough  in  the  morn- 
ing and  his  pillow  at  night. 


The  possessions  of  a  widow,  whether  she  be 
rich  or  poor,  should  not  be  taken  in  pawn. 


"  Wherewith  prolongest  thou  life? "  Rab- 
bi Nechuma's  disciples  asked  him  once.  And 
the  master  answered:  "  I  never  sought  my 
honor  at  the  expense  of  my  associate's  degra- 
dation, and  the  thought  of  a  wrong  done  to 
me  in  daytime  never  went  with  me  to  bed  at 


Love  is  blind. 

Love  takes  no  advice. 

of  tbe  xralmu&  91 

He  who  loves  thee  scolds  thee. 

There  is  a  compensation  for  everything  ex- 
cept our  first  love. 

The  love  which  shirks  from  reproving  is  no 


Three  things  produce  love:  culture  of  mind, 
modesty,  and  meekness. 

Love  inspired  by  unworthy  motives  dies 
when  those  motives  disappear. 

When  our  conjugal  love  was  strong,  the 
width  of  the  threshold  offered  sufficient  ac- 
commodation for  both  of  us;  but  now  that  it 
has  cooled  down,  a  couch  sixty  yards  wide  is 
too  narrow. 

9^  Mtt  an^  MtsDom 

Man,  A  rioral  Being 

The  righteous  control  their  desires,  but  the 
desires  of  the  wicked  control  them. 

Man's  Free  Will 

Everything  is  foreordained  by  Heaven,  ex- 
cept the  fear  of  Heaven  (i.e.,  the  fear  of  God's 
anger  when  one  is  about  to  sin). 

Everything  is  ordained  by  God's  provi- 
dence, but  freedom  of  choice  is  g^ven  to  man. 

Whether  a  man  be  strong  or  weak,  rich  or 
poor,  wise  or  foolish,  depends  mostly  on  cir- 
cumstances that  surround  him  from  the  time 
of  his  birth,  but  whether  a  man  be  good  or 
bad,  righteous  or  wicked,  depends  on  his  own 
free  will. 

aod'5  Will,  As  The  Guide  of  Man's  Duties 

Regulate  thy  will  in  accordance  with  God's 
will,  and  submit  thy  will  to  His  will. 

ot  tbe  Tlalmub  93 

Be  bold  as  a  leopard,  light  as  an  eagle,  swift 
as  a  roe,  and  strong  as  a  lion,  to  do  the  will 
of  thy  Father  who  is  in  heaven. 

Man's  Accountability  to  Qod 

Every  word,  whether  good  or  bad,  acci- 
dental or  intentional,  is  recorded  in  a  book. 


Consider  three  things,  and  thou  wilt  never 
fall  into  sin:  remember  that  there  is  above 
thee  an  All-Seeing  Eye,  an  All-Hearing  Ear, 
and  a  record  of  all  thy  actions. 


Consider  three  things  and  thou  wilt  never 
sin:  remember  whence  thou  comest,  whither 
thou  goest,  and  before  whom  thou  wilt  have 
to  render  an  account  for  thy  doings. 

What  meaneth  "  Thou  shalt  love  the  Lord 
"hy  God  with  all  thy  soul  "  ?    It  meaneth  that 

94  "COlit  auD  MisDom 

thou  must  love  Him,  even  if  He  demand  thy 


With  the  pious  God  is  strict,  even  to  a  hair's 


Man  is  generally  led  the  way  which  he  is 
inclined  to  go. 

There  is  no  death  without  individual  sin, 
no  pain  without  individual  transgression. 
That  same  spirit  that  dictated  in  the  Penta- 
teuch: 'And  parents  shall  not  die  for  their 
children,  nor  the  children  for  their  parents,* 
has  ordained  that  no  one  should  be  punished 
for  another's  transgressions. 


Say  not  that  sin  and  crime  come  from  God 
or  that  He  has  caused  thee  to  fall  into  sin, 

ot  tbc  XI;almu^  95 

for  He  takes  no  pleasure  in  a  sinful  man.  He 
hates  every  wickedness  and  abomination.  He 
has  created  man  from  the  beginning  in  purity 
and  has  left  him  to  his  free  will  to  follow  the 
path  of  righteousness  or  that  of  evil.  Behold, 
fire  and  water  have  been  put  before  thee,  and 
thou  mayest  stretch  out  thy  hand  and  choose, 
even  as  life  and  death  are  given  thee  to  select; 
hail  to  him  if  he  taketh  life,  but  woe  to  him  if 
he  chooseth  death. 

A  king  once  engaged  two  watchmen  to 
take  care  of  his  orchard.  One  was  blind  and 
the  other  lame.  Still  they  answered  the  pur- 
pose very  well;  for  their  presence  was  quite 
sufficient  to  keep  depredators  at  a  distance. 
One  evening  the  lame  watchman  was  sitting 
in  the  orchard,  when  his  eyes  fell  upon  a 
bunch  of  luscious  grapes,  the  first  and  only 
ripe  ones  in  the  whole  place.  "  Are  you  very 
thirsty? "  said  he  to  his  blind  companion, 
who  was  walking  up  and  down,  feeling  his  way 
with  a  stick.  "Would  you  like  a  bunch  of 
fine  juicy  grapes?"  "Yes,"  was  the  bhnd 
man's  reply.    "  But  you  know  we  cannot  pick 

96  Umit  ant)  Mi8&om 

them.  I  am  blind  and  cannot  see.  You  are 
lame  and  cannot  walk."  "  True,"  said  the 
lame  man.  "  Still  we  can  get  at  them;  take 
me  on  your  back;  I  can  guide  you,  and  you 
can  carry  me  to  the  grapes."  And  so  they 
stole  the  precious  fruit  and  ate  it. 

Now,  the  next  day  the  king  went  into  the 
orchard  to  gather  this  very  cluster  of  grapes; 
for  he  had  already  observed  it  as  being  just 
fit  for  the  table.  It  had  vanished,  and  he  at 
once  taxed  the  watchman  with  the  theft. 

"  How  can  my  lord,  the  king,  accuse  me 
of  such  a  thing?  "  exclaimed  the  lame  man. 
"  Here  I  must  sit  all  the  days  of  my  life,  with- 
out moving  a  single  inch;  for  am  I  not 
lame?  " 

"  And  how  can  my  lord,  the  king,  accuse  me 
of  such  a  thing,  when  I  am  bhnd?  "  asked  the 
other.  "  How  can  the  heart  long  after,  or  the 
hands  reach,  that  which  th^  eyes  cannot  be- 
hold? " 

The  king  answered  not  a  word.  But  he 
ordered  his  servants  to  place  the  lame  man  on 
the  back  of  the  blind  man,  and  he  condemned 
them  to  punishment  just  as  if  they  had  been 
one  man.    So  it  is  with  the  soul  and  body  of 

of  tbe  xralmuD  97 

man.  The  soul  cannot  sin  without  the  body, 
nor  the  body  without  the  soul;  the  sin  of  both 
is  the  sin  of  each,  and  it  will  not  avail  in  the 
great  day  of  judgment  to  shirk  the  responsibil- 
ity; but  even  as  the  lame  and  the  blind  watch- 
men, body  and  soul  will  be  judged  as  one. 

Man's  Duty 

Six  hundred  injunctions,  says  the  Talmud, 
was  Moses  instructed  to  give  the  people. 
David  reduced  them  all  to  eleven  in  the  fif- 
teenth Psalm:  Lord,  who  shall  abide  in  Thy 
tabernacle,  who  shall  dwell  on  Thy  holy  hill? 
He  that  walketh  uprightly,  and  worketh  right- 
eousness, and  speaketh  the  truth  in  his  heart. 
He  that  backbiteth  not  with  his  tongue,  nor 
doeth  evil  to  his  neighbor,  nor  taketh  up  a 
reproach  against  his  neighbor.  In  whose  eyes 
a  vile  person  is  contemned;  but  he  honoreth 
them  that  fear  the  Lord.  He  that  sweareth 
to  his  own  hurt,  and  changeth  not.  He  that 
putteth  not  out  his  money  to  usury,  nor  taketh 
reward  against  the  innocent.  He  that  doeth 
these  things  shall  never  be  moved. 

98  XWlit  an&  TKais^om 

The  Prophet  Isaiah  reduced  them  to  six 
(xxxiii.  15):  He  that  walketh  righteously, 
and  speaketh  uprightly;  he  that  despiseth  the 
gain  of  oppressions,  that  shaketh  his  hands 
from  holding  of  bribes,  that  stoppeth  his  ears 
from  hearing  of  blood,  and  shutteth  his  eyes 
from  seeing  evil. 

The  Prophet  Micah  reduced  them  to  three 
(vi.  8):  What  does  the  Lord  require  of  thee 
but  to  do  justly,  and  to  love  mercy,  and  to 
walk  humbly  with  thy  God? 

Isaiah  once  more  reduced  them  to  two  (Ivi. 
i):    Keep  ye  judgment  and  do  justice. 

Amos  (v.  4)  reduced  them  all  to  one:  Seek 
ye  me  and  ye  shall  live. 

But  lest  it  might  be  supposed  from  this  that 
God  could  be  found  in  the  fulfilment  of  his 
Torah  only,  Habakkuk  said  (ii.  4):  The  just 
shall  live  by  his  faith. 


The  end  does  not  justify  the  means. 


The  meddler  has  his  spoon  in  every  pot. 

ot  tbe  Ualmud  99 


To  deserve  mercy,  practise  mercy. 

The  mercy  we  to  others  show,  Heaven  will 

show  to  us. 


He  who  judges  without  mercy  will  himself 
be  judged. 

He  who  has  compassion  on  his  fellow  man 
is  accounted  of  the  true  seed  of  Abraham. 


Underneath  the  wings  of  the  Seraphim  are 
stretched  the  arms  of  divine  mercy,  ever  ready 
to  receive  sinners. 


A  miser  is  as  wicked  as  an  idolater. 


4701.    AVE.    DORNAL 

loo  Mit  ant)  MidDom 

The  mice  lie  on  his  money  bags. 

The  birds  in  the  air  even  despise  the  miser. 


Man  is  like  that  vegetation  which  sprouts 
from  the  ground  as  a  tender  plant,  and  grad- 
ually grows  until  at  last  it  withers  away  and 
perisheth.  This,  O  man,  should  teach  thee  to 
live  pleasurably,  enjoying  the  wealth  that  is 
thine  while  thou  livest;  for,  consider,  how 
long  may  that  be?  Life  is  brief,  and  death  is 
sure.  What  matters  it  to  thee  if  thy  heirs  will 
inherit  a  little  more  or  a  little  less!  Thou,  O 
man,  knowest  not  even  how  they  will  prize  it, 
whether  they  will  make  good  use  of  it  or 
squander  it. 


Be  moderate  in  all  things. 

The  horse  fed  too  freely  with  oats  oft  be- 
comes unruly. 

ot  tbc  XTalmu^  loi 

Eat  and  drink  to  live;   live  not  to  eat  and 
drink,  for  thus  do  the  beasts. 


The  sensible  man  drinks  only  when  he  is 


A  good  man  is  modest. 

They  who  are  modest  will  not  easily  sin. 


Who  are  the  pious?  The  modest.  Who 
are  the  modest?  Those  who  are  bashful, 
knowing  that  God  sees  them. 


Money  makes  even  bastards  legitimate. 

102  Mit  anD  •Mis^om 

He  is  rich  who  enjoys  what  he  possesseth. 

He  who  lends  money  on  usury  consumes 
his  own  as  well  as  the  stranger's. 

Wealth  may  be  like  waters  gathered  in  a 
house,  which,  finding  no  outlet,  drown  the 

The  fortune  of  this  world  is  like  a  wheel 
with  two  buckets,  the  full  becomes  empty  and 
the  empty  full. 

He  who  loves  money  cannot  be  righteous, 
and  he  who  hastens  after  possessions  is  led 
away  from  the  right  path.  Happy  the  rich 
whose  hands  are  clean  and  who  do  not  cling 
to  possessions.     If  there  be  such  a  man,  wc 

ot  tbe  *Q:almu&  103 

will  praise  him  as  happy,  for  he  has  done  much 
for  his  people.  If  thus  tested  and  found  un- 
blemished, we  will  exalt  him.  If,  having  had 
the  opportunity  to  deceive,  he  did  it  not,  hav- 
ing had  the  means  to  act  unjustly,  he  acted 


Which  is  a  vain  oath?  If  one  affirms  im- 
possibilities; as,  for  instance,  that  a  camel 
was  flying  in  the  air. 


Let  a  man  never  allow  an  obscene  word  to 
pass  out  of  his  mouth. 


Hasten  to  the  performance  of  the  slightest 
commandment,  and  flee  from  sin;  for  the 
performance  of  one  virtuous  act  leads  to  an- 
other, and  the  commission  of  one  sin  leads  to 
another;  so  is  the  reward  of  one  virtuous  act 

104  '^tt  anD  Mi^^om 

the  performance  of  another,  and  the  retribu- 
tion of  one  sin  the  commission  of  another. 


It  happened  that  a  Judge  of  a  city  sent 
his  servant  to  the  market  to  purchase  fish. 
When  he  reached  the  place  of  sale  he  found 
that  all  the  fish  but  one  had  been  sold,  and 
this  one  a  Jewish  tailor  was  about  purchasing. 
Said  the  Judge's  servant:  "  I  will  give  one 
gold  piece  for  it;  "  said  the  tailor:  "  I  will 
give  two."  Whereupon  the  other  expressed 
his  willingness  to  pay  three  gold  pieces  for  it, 
but  the  tailor  claimed  the  fish,  and  said  he 
would  not  lose  it  though  he  were  obliged 
to  pay  ten  gold  pieces  for  it.  The  Judge's 
servant  then  returned  home,  and  in  anger  re- 
lated the  circumstance  to  his  master.  The 
Judge  sent  for  the  tailor,  and  when  the  lat- 
ter appeared  before  him  he  asked:  "  What  is 
thy  occupation?  "  "  A  tailor,  sir,"  replied 
the  man.  "  Then  how  canst  thou  afford  to 
pay  so  g^eat  a  price  for  a  fish,  and  how  dare 
you  degrade  my  dignity  by  offering  for  it  a 
greater  sum  than  that  offered  by  my  servant?  " 

ot  tbe  xralmu5  105 

"  I  fast  to-morrow,"  replied  the  tailor, 
"  and  I  wished  the  fish  to  eat  to-day,  that  I 
might  have  strength  to  do  so.  I  would  not 
have  lost  it  even  for  ten  pieces  of  gold." 

"  What  is  to-morrow  more  than  any  other 
day?  "  asked  the  Judge. 

"  Why  art  thou  more  than  any  other  man?  " 
returned  the  other. 

"  Because  the  king  has  appointed  me  to  this 

"Well,"  replied  the  tailor,  "the  King  of 
kings  has  appointed  this  day  (the  Day  of 
Atonement)  to  be  hoHer  than  all  other  days; 
on  this  day  we  hope  that  God  will  pardon  our 

"  If  this  be  the  case  thou  wert  right,"  an- 
swered the  Judge,  and  the  Israelite  departed 
in  peace. 

Thus  if  a  person's  intention  is  to  obey  God, 
nothing  can  hinder  its  accompHshment.  On 
this  day  God  commanded  his  children  to  fast, 
but  they  must  strengthen  their  bodies  to  obey 
him  by  eating  on  the  day  before.  It  is  a  per- 
son's duty  to  sanctify  himself,  bodily  and  spir- 
itually, for  the  approach  of  this  great  day.  He 
should  be  ready  to  enter  any  moment  into  the 

io6  Mlt  anO  MisDom 

Fearful  Presence  with  repentance  and  good 
deeds  as  his  companions. 


If  the  thief  has  no  opportunity,  he  thinks 
himself  honorable. 


Money  belonging  to  orphans  should  only 
be  invested  where  the  chance  of  gain  is  greater 
than  the  chance  of  loss. 


Who  is  strong?    He  who  subdues  his  pas- 

The  greater  the  man,  the  stronger  his  pas- 

Man's  passions  at  first  are  like  a  cobweb's 
thread,  at  last  become  like  thickest  cord. 

ot  tbe  UalmuD  107 

Were  it  not  for  the  existence  of  passions, 
no  one  would  build  a  house,  marry  a  wife, 
beget  children,  or  do  any  work. 


The  wicked  is  in  the  power  of  his  passion; 
the  righteous  keeps  passion  in  his  power. 


What  should  man  do  in  order  to  live? 
Deaden  his  passions.  What  should  man  do 
in  order  to  die?    Give  himself  entirely  to  life. 


First,  our  passions  are  like  travellers,  mak- 
ing a  brief  stay,  then  like  guests  visiting  us 
day  by  day,  until  at  last  they  become  our 
masters,  holding  us  beneath  their  sway. 


Do  not  isolate  thyself  from  the  community 
and  its  interests. 

io8  Mit  anb  XKIisdom 

Were  it  not  for  patriotism,   sterile  lands 
would  be  deserted. 


It  is  sinful  to  deceive  the  government  re- 
garding taxes  and  duties. 

Do  not  aspire  for  public  offices;  but  where 
there  are  no  men,  try  thou  to  be  a  man. 

He  who  revolts  against  the  government 
commits  as  great  a  sin  as  if  he  revolted  against 

Those  who  work  for  the  community  shall 
work  without  selfishness,  but  with  the  pure 
intention  to  promote  its  welfare. 

Pray  for  the  welfare  of  the  government, 
since  if  it  were  not  for  the  awe  which  it  in- 
spires, men  would  swallow  each  other  alive. 

ot  tbe  XIalmu^  109 


The  Bible  was  given  to  establish  peace. 

Be  the  first  to  hold  out  the  hand  of  peace. 

Where  there  is  no  peace,  nothing  flourishes. 

Be  a  disciple  of  Aaron,  loving  peace,  and 
pursuing  peace. 

What  is  sweeter  than  sweetness?      Peace 
after  enmity. 


Sow  peace  at  home,  scatter  its  fruits  abroad. 


Mit  ant)  1RIli8t)om 

Peace  is  the  wisp  of  straw  which  binds  the 
sheaf  of  blessings. 


He  who  maketh  peace  among  strivers  will 
inherit  eternal  life. 


Discord  is  like  a  leak  in  a  cistern.     Drop 
by  drop  all  the  water  escapes. 


When  two  men  quarrel,  he  who  is  first  si- 
lent is  the  better  man. 


Great  is  peace,  for  it  is  to  the  world  what 
yeast  is  to  the  dough. 


Man,  be  ever  soft  and  pliable  like  a  reed, 
and  not  hard  and  unbending  like  a  cedar. 


When   do    justice    and    good    will    meet? 

of  tbe  ZTalmuO  in 

When  the  contending  parties  are  made  to 
agree  peaceably. 

Peace  is  the  vessel  in  which  all  God's  bless- 
ings are  preserved  to  us  and  preserved  by  us. 

Strife  is  like  a  jet  of  water  pouring  through 
a  crevice;  the  wider  the  crevice,  the  stronger 
the  flow. 

Those  who,  when  offended,  do  not  give  of- 
fence, when  hearing  slighting  remarks,  do  not 
retaliate,  they  are  the  friends  of  God,  they 
shall  shine  forth  like  the  sun  in  its  glory. 


Have  a  soft  reply  to  turn  away  anger,  and 
let  thy  peace  be  abundant  with  thy  brother, 
with  thy  friend,  and  with  everybody,  even 
with  the  Gentile  in  the  street,  that  thou  shalt 
be  beloved  above  and  esteemed  below. 

112  XIQltt  anO  Wisdom 


Envy,  lust,  ambition,  bring  a  man  to  perdi- 


The  sin  of  perjury  is  great. 

God  may  delay  all  other  punishments,  but 
the  sin  of  perjury  is  avenged  straightway. 


Do  not  accustom  yourself  to  use  oaths,  or 
you  will  be  led  into  perjury. 


Be  of  them  that  are  persecuted,  not  of  them 
that  persecute. 


Whosoever  does  not  persecute  them  that 
persecute  him,  whosoever  takes  an  offence  in 

ot  tbe  XTalmuO  113 

silence,  he  who  does  good  because  of  love,  he 
who  is  cheerful  under  his  sufferings — they  are 
the  friends  of  God,  and  of  them  the  Scrip- 
ture says:  "They  shall  shine  forth  as  does 
the  sun  at  noonday." 


There  is  not  a  single  bird  more  persecuted 
than  the  dove;  yet  God  has  chosen  her  to  be 
offered  up  on  the  altar.  The  bull  is  hunted  by 
the  lion,  the  sheep  by  the  wolf,  the  goat  by  the 
tiger.  And  God  said:  "  Bring  me  a  sacrifice, 
not  from  them  that  persecute,  but  from  them 
that  are  persecuted." 


If  thou  hast  commenced  a  good  action, 
leave  it  not  incomplete. 


Wait  not  to  honor  the  physician  till  thou 
fallest  sick. 

114  IRHit  anC)  misOom 

Medicine  is  a  science  whose  practise  is  au- 
thorized by  God  Himself. 

We  ought  not  to  Hve  in  a  town  where  no 
physician  resides. 

The  strict  observance  of  Sabbath  and  the 
Day  of  Atonement  is  set  aside,  when  the  phy- 
sician declares  such  desecration  necessary, 
even  against  the  will  of  the  patient. 

God  causes  the  remedial  herbs  to  grow  up 
from  the  ground;  they  become  a  healing 
cause  in  the  hands  of  the  physicians,  and  from 
them  the  druggist  prepares  the  remedies. 


The  serpent's  tail  had  a  long  time  followed 
the  directions  of  the  head  with  the  best  re- 
sults. One  day  the  tail  began,  "  Thou  appear- 
est  always  foremost,  but  I  must  remain  in  the 

of  tbe  Xi;almu&  115 

background.  Why  should  I  not  also  some- 
times lead? "  "  Well,"  repHed  the  head, 
"  thou  shalt  have  thy  will  for  once."  The 
tail,  rejoiced,  accordingly  took  the  lead.  Its 
first  exploit  was  to  drag  the  body  into  a  miry 
ditch.  Hardly  escaped  from  that  unpleasant 
situation,  it  crept  into  a  fiery  furnace;  and 
when  relieved  from  there,  it  got  entangled 
among  briers  and  thorns.  What  caused  all 
these  misfortunes?  Because  the  head  sub- 
mitted to  be  guided  by  the  tail.  When  the 
lower  classes  are  guided  by  the  higher,  all 
goes  well,  but  if  the  higher  orders  suffer 
themselves  to  be  swayed  by  popular  preju- 
dices, they  all  suffer  together. 


No  position  can  dignify  the  man.    It  is  the 
man  who  dignifies  the  position. 


The  Eternal  is  the  advocate  of  the  poor. 

1 16  Mft  an^  TICli0t)om 

Healthy    poverty    is   opulence,    compared 
with  ailing  wealth. 


Be  mindful  of  the  children  of  the  poor,  for 
learning  comes  from  them. 


Cleanse  your  heart  before  praying. 

Always  pray  with  humility  and  with  a  clear 


Prayer  without  devotion  is  like  a  body  with- 
out life. 


Better   little    prayer   with    devotion   than 
much  without  devotion. 

ot  tbe  Xi;almu&  117 

Blessed  are  the  women  who  send  their  chil- 
dren to  the  house  of  prayer. 


Even  when  the  gates  of  heaven  are  shut  to 
prayer,  they  are  open  to  those  of  tears. 

The  value  of  the  words  uttered  with  the 
Hps  is  determined  by  the  devotion  of  the  heart. 


To  pray  loudly  is  not  a  necessity  of  devo- 
tion ;  when  we  pray  we  must  direct  our  hearts 
towards  heaven. 


Look  not  on  thy  prayers  as  on  a  task;  let 
the  supplication  be  sincere. 


Prayer  is  Israel's  only  weapon,  a  weapon 
inherited  from  its  fathers,  a  weapon  tried  in  a 
thousand  battles. 

ii8  Mit  and  Mtsdom 

A  pious  man  was  engaged  in  prayer  while 
travelling  on  the  highroad.  One  of  the 
nobles  of  the  land,  who  knew  him,  was  pass- 
ing by  and  saluted  him,  but  the  pious  man  did 
not  mind  the  salutation  and  continued  his 
prayer.  The  nobleman  became  vexed,  and 
with  great  effort  he  waited  until  the  man  had 
finished  his  prayers;  whereupon  he,  in  an  ex- 
cited manner,  said  to  him:  "  Thou  art  a  stu- 
pid fellow,  for  thou  hast  sinned  against  thine 
own  law,  which  commands  man  to  take  care 
of  his  own  life.  But  thou  hast  just  risked  thy 
life  unnecessarily.  Why  didst  thou  not  re- 
spond to  my  salutation?  If  I  had  split  thy 
head  open  with  my  sword,  who  could  have 
called  me  to  account?  " 

"  Sir,  I  pray,  suppress  your  wrath;  I  hope 
to  quiet  thee,  if  thou  wilt  allow  me  only  a  few 
words  in  reply.  Think,  for  instance,  that  while 
standing  in  conversation  with  thy  king,  a 
friend,  passing  by,  saluted  thee.  Shouldst 
thou  like  to  be  interrupted  in  thy  conversa- 
tion with  the  king  in  order  to  answer  that 

"  Woe  unto  me  if  I  were  to  do  so." 

"  Now,  I  pray,  dear  sir,  consider  only  the 

or  tbe  xralmu&  119 

respect  thou  thus  payest  to  a  mortal  King, 
who  is  here  to-day  and  to-morrow  is  in  the 
gfrave;  whilst  myself,  who  stood  facing  the 
King  of  Kings,  the  immortal  King,  what 
should  I  have  done?  " 

The  nobleman  assuaged  his  wrath,  and  the 
pious  man  continued  his  journey  in  peace. 


We  read  (Ex.  xvii.  11)  that  while  in  the  con- 
test with  Amalek,  Moses  lifted  up  his  arms, 
Israel  prevailed.  Did  Moses'  hands  make  war 
or  break  war?  But  this  is  to  tell  you  that  as 
long  as  Israel  is  looking  upward  and  hum- 
bling his  heart  before  his  Father  which  is  in 
heaven,  he  prevails;  if  not,  he  falls.  In  the 
same  way  you  find  (Num.  xxi.  9),  "  And 
Moses  made  a  serpent  of  brass,  and  put  it 
upon  a  pole;  and  it  came  to  pass,  that  if  a 
serpent  had  bitten  any  man,  when  he  beheld 
the  serpent  of  brass,  he  lived."  Dost  think 
that  a  serpent  killeth  or  giveth  life?  But  as 
long  as  Israel  is  looking  upward  to  his  Father 
which  is  in  heaven  he  will  live;  if  not,  he  will 

I20  Mit  and  Wtsdom 


Pride  is  like  idolatry. 

A  penny  in  an  empty  box  rattles  loudly. 

The  prayers  of  the  proud  are  never  heard. 

Pride  leads  to  the  destruction  of  man. 

Pride  is  a  sign  of  the  worst  poverty — ^ig- 

Even  to  his  own  household  the  overbear- 
ing is  distasteful. 

The  proud  man  is  troubled  at  the  slightest 

of  tbe  Xi:almu&  121 

The  proud  are  pettish  and  the  pettish  are 


He  who  hardens  his  heart  with  pride  soft- 
ens his  brain  with  the  same. 


The  Messiah  will  not  come  until  haughti- 
ness shall  have  ceased  among  men. 


It  requires  but  the  slightest  breeze  of  ill- 
luck  to  cast  down  the  proud,  and  quite  right, 
too;  for  the  immense  ocean,  which  consists 
of  countless  drops  of  water,  is  nevertheless 
disturbed  by  the  slightest  breeze;  and  will 
there  be  anything  more  necessary  to  hum- 
ble men,  in  whose  veins  only  one  drop  of 
blood  is  flowing? 


Good  men  promise  little  and  perform  much. 

122  Mlt  ant)  Mts^om 

Wicked  men  promise  much  and  perform 


Despise  not  public  opinion. 


The  voice  of  the  people  is  as  the  voice  of 

Not  what  you  say  about  yourself,  but  what 
others  say. 


He  who  fears  the  opinion  of  the  world  more 
than  his  own  conscience  has  but  little  self- 

Whosoever  is  loved  by  mankind  is  also 
loved  by  the  Supreme,  but  whosoever  is  not 
loved  by  mankind  is  not  loved  by  the  Su- 

ot  tbe  Ualmub  123 

If  one  person  tell  thee  that  thou  hast  asses' 
ears,  do  not  mind  it;  but  if  two  persons  make 
this  assertion,  at  once  place  a  pack-saddle 
upon  thy  back. 


Every  union  for  a  divine  purpose  is  destined 
to  last. 


Quarrelling  is  the  weapon  of  the  weak. 


Religion  maketh  the  man. 

Religion  is  the  light  of  the  world. 

Without  religion  there  can  be  no  true  mor- 


Win  anO  "QCHsDom 

God's  commandments  are  intended  to  en- 
hance the  value  and  enjoyment  of  Hfe,  but  not 
to  mar  it  and  make  it  gloomy. 


He  who  devotes  himself  to  the  mere  study 
of  religion  without  engaging  in  works  of  love 
and  mercy  is  like  one  who  has  no  God. 


When  a  man  has  turned  away  from  sin,  re- 
proach him  no  more. 

Happy  the  man  who  repents  in  the  strength 
of  his  manhood. 

One  contrition  in  man's  heart  is  better  than 
many  flagellations. 

The  aim  and  end  of  all  wisdom  are  repent- 
ance and  good  works. 

ot  tbc  "ITalmut)  125 

As  the  ocean  never  freezes,  so  the  gates  of 
repentance  never  close. 


So  great  is  the  virtue  of  repentance  that  it 
prolongs  a  man's  years. 

The  tears  of  true  penitence  are  not  shed  in 

He  who  repeatedly  sins,  looking  forward 
to  penitence  to  cover  his  sins,  his  penitence 
will  avail  him  nothing. 


Even  the  most  righteous  shall  not  attain  to 
so  high  a  place  in  heaven  as  the  truly  repent- 

One  hour  employed  in  this  world  in  the  ex- 
ercise of  repentance  and  good  deeds  is  prefer- 

126  TDOltt  anD  Mis^om 

able  to  a  whole  life  in  the  world  to  come; 
and  one  hour's  refreshment  of  spirit  in  the 
future  world  is  preferable  to  the  entire  life  in 


The  Day  of  Atonement  is  given  for  the  ex- 
piation of  sins  committed  against  God;  but 
the  Day  of  Atonement  will  not  expiate  sins 
committed  against  a  fellow  man,  unless  the 
offender  has  asked  pardon  of  the  offended. 


In  three  ways  may  we  repent:  by  publicly 
confessing  our  sins,  by  manifesting  sorrow 
for  sins  committed,  and  by  good  deeds,  which 
are  as  sacrifices  before  the  Lord. 


Repent  one  day  before  thy  death.  There 
was  a  king  who  bade  all  his  servants  to  a  great 
repast,  but  did  not  indicate  the  hour;  some 
went  home  and  put  on  their  best  garments  and 
stood  at  the  door  of  the  palace,  others  said. 


ot  tbc  Ualmub  127 

"  There  is  ample  time,  the  king  will  let  us 
know  beforehand."  But  the  king  summoned 
them  of  a  sudden,  and  those  that  came  in  the 
best  garments  were  well  received,  but  the 
foolish  ones  who  came  in  their  slovenliness 
were  turned  away  in  disgrace.  Repent  to-day 
lest  to-morrow  ye  might  be  summoned. 


And  it  came  to  pass  that  a  great  ship,  while 
sailing  upon  the  ocean,  was  driven  from  its 
course  by  a  high  wind  and  finally  was  be- 
calmed close  to  a  pleasant-appearing  island, 
where  they  dropped  anchor.  There  grew 
upon  this  island  beautiful  flowers  and  luscious 
fruits  in  great  profusion,  and  tall  trees  lent 
a  cooling  shade  to  the  place,  that  ap- 
peared to  the  ship's  passengers  most  desira- 
ble and  inviting.  They  divided  themselves 
into  five  parties;  the  first  party  determined 
not  to  leave  the  ship,  for  said  they,  "  A  fair 
wind  may  arise,  the  anchor  may  be  raised,  and 
the  ship  sail  on,  leaving  us  behind:  we  will 
not  risk  the  chance  of  missing  our  destination 

128  mtt  ant)  TKaisDom 

for  the  temporary  pleasure  which  this  island 
offers."  The  second  party  went  on  shore  for 
a  short  time,  enjoyed  the  perfume  of  the  flow- 
ers, tasted  the  fruits,  and  returned  to  the  ship 
happy  and  refreshed,  finding  their  places  as 
they  had  left  them;  losing  nothing,  but  rather 
gaining  in  health  and  spirits  by  the  recreation 
of  their  visit  on  shore.  The  third  party  also 
visited  the  island,  but  they  tarried  on  the  way. 
Meanwhile  a  fair  wind  arose,  seeing  which 
they  hurried  to  the  ship  and  arrived  just  as 
the  sailors  were  lifting  the  anchor.  Many  of 
them  lost  their  places,  and  were  not  as  com- 
fortable during  the  balance  of  their  voyage 
as  at  the  outset.  They  were  wiser,  however, 
than  the  fourth  party,  which  stayed  so  long  on 
the  island,  and  tasted  so  deeply  of  its  pleasures 
that  they  minded  neither  the  wind  nor  the 
ship's  bell  that  called  them.  Said  they: 
"The  sails  are  still  to  be  set;  we  may  enjoy 
ourselves  a  few  minutes  more."  Again  the 
bell  sounded,  and  still  they  lingered,  thinking, 
"  The  captain  will  not  sail  without  us."  So 
they  remained  until  they  saw  the  ship  moving; 
then  in  wild  haste  they  swam  after  it  and 
scrambled  up  the  sides,  but  the  bruises  and 

ot  tbe  Ti:almu&  129 

injuries  which  they  encountered  in  so  doing 
were  not  healed  during  the  remainder  of  the 
voyage.  But,  alas  for  the  fifth  party.  They 
ate  and  drank  so  deeply  that  they  did  not 
even  hear  the  bell,  and  when  the  ship  started 
they  were  left  behind.  Then  the  wild  beasts 
hid  in  the  thickets  made  them  a  prey,  and 
they  who  escaped  this  evil  perished  from  the 
poison  of  surfeit. 

The  "  ship  "  is  our  good  deeds,  which  bear 
us  to  our  destination,  heaven.  The  "  island  " 
typifies  the  pleasures  of  the  world,  which  the 
first  set  of  passengers  refused  to  taste  or  look 
upon,  but  which  when  enjoyed  temperately  as 
by  the  second  party,  make  our  lives  pleasant, 
without  causing  us  to  neglect  our  duties. 
These  pleasures  must  not  be  allowed,  how- 
ever, to  gain  too  strong  a  hold  upon  our 
senses.  True,  we  may  return,  as  the  third 
party,  while  there  is  yet  time  and  with  but  lit- 
tle bad  effect,  or  even  as  the  fourth  party  at  the 
eleventh  hour,  be  saved,  but  with  many  bruises 
and  injuries  which  cannot  be  entirely  healed; 
but  we  are  in  danger  of  becoming  as  the  last 
party,  spending  a  lifetime  in  the  pursuit  of 
vanity,  forgetting  the  future,  and  perishing 

I30  TKIlit  an&  MlsDom 

even  of  the  poison  concealed  in  the  sweets 
which  attract  us. 


He  who  cannot  bear  one  word  of  reproof 
will  have  to  hear  many. 


Blessed  is  he  who  meekly  bears  his  trials, 
of  which  everyone  has  his  share. 


When  misfortune  befalls  you  examine  your 
conduct  and  knowledge  that  God's  chas- 
tisement is  just. 

During  Rabbi  Meir*s  absence  from  home 
two  of  his  sons  died.  Their  mother,  hid- 
ing her  grief,  awaited  the  father's  return, 
and  then  said  to  him:  "  My  husband,  some 
time  since  two  jewels  of  inestimable  value 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  131 

were  placed  with  me  for  safe  keeping.  He 
who  left  them  with  me  called  for  them  to-day, 
and  I  delivered  them  into  his  hands."  "  That 
is  right,"  said  the  Rabbi,  approvingly.  "  We 
must  always  return  cheerfully  and  faithfully 
all  that  is  left  in  our  care."  Shortly  after  this 
the  Rabbi  asked  for  his  sons,  and  the  mother, 
taking  him  by  the  hand,  led  him  gently  to  the 
chamber  of  death.  Meir  gazed  upon  his  sons, 
and  realizing  the  truth,  wept  bitterly.  "  Weep 
not,  beloved  husband,"  said  his  noble  wife; 
"  didst  thou  not  say  to  me  we  must  return 
cheerfully,  when  'tis  called  for,  all  that  has  been 
placed  in  our  care?  God  gave  us  these  jewels, 
he  left  them  with  us  for  a  time,  and  we  gloried 
in  their  possession;  but  now  that  he  calls  for 
his  own,  we  should  not  repine." 


Rabbi  Judah  said:  "  If  a  person  weeps  and 
mourns  excessively  for  a  lost  relative,  hia 
grief  becomes  a  murmur  against  the  will  o{ 
God,  and  he  may  soon  be  obliged  to  weep  for 
another  death.  We  should  justify  the  decree 
of  God,  and  exclaim  with  Job,    'The  Lord 

132  'CClit  anb  1IClis&om 

gave  and  tiie  Lord  hath  taken;  blessed  be  the 
name  of  the  Lord.'  " 


Misery  and  remorse  are  the  children  of  re- 

He  who  gratifies  revenge  destroys  his  own 


Rabbi  Meir  was  vociferous  against  evil 
doers  and  often  prayed  God,  saying,  "  De- 
stroy the  sinners."  Beruriah,  his  pious  wife, 
gently  admonished  him,  saying,  "  Rather  pray 
that  God  destroy  sin  and  the  sinners  will  be 
no  more." 


In  proportion  to  thy  efforts  will  be  thy  rec- 

of  tbc  UalmuD  133 

The  reward  of  good  works  is  like  dates; 
sweet  and  ripening  late. 

The  measure  man  metes  to  man  the  same 
will  be  meted  to  him. 

Be  not  like  servants  who  wait  on  their  mas- 
ter expecting  to  receive  reward,  but  be  you 
like  those  who  serve  their  master  without  ex- 
pecting reward. 


The  righteous  are  even  greater  in  death 
than  in  life. 

When  the  righteous  die,  they  live;  for  their 
example  lives. 

The  loss  of  a  pious  man  is  a  loss  to  his  whole 

134  'QQltt  an^  'UQliB^om 

The  righteous  promise  Httle  and  do  much. 

The  righteous  are  heard  when  they  perse- 
vere in  prayer. 


The  righteous  need  no  monuments.  Their 
deeds  are  their  monuments. 

Alexander  one  day  wandered  to  the  gates 
of  paradise  and  knocked.  The  guardian  angel 
asked:  "Who  is  there?"  "I,  Alexander." 
"  Who  is  Alexander?  "  "  Alexander,  the  con- 
queror of  the  world."  "  We  know  him  not. 
He  cannot  enter  here.  This  is  the  Lord's 
gate;  only  the  righteous  enter  here." 


The  death  of  the  righteous  is  a  calamity 
equal  in  magnitude  to  the  burning  of  the 

ot  tbe  XlalmuO  13S 


Buy  nothing  from  a  thief. 

The  thief's  end  is  the  gallows. 

It  is  wrong  to  receive  a  present  from  a  thief. 

The  receiver  is  as  bad  as  the  thief. 

There  is  no  difference  between  robbing  a 
Jew  or  robbing  a  Gentile;  if  any,  to  rob  a 
Gentile  is  a  greater  sin  than  to  rob  a  Jew. 

If  one  finds  a  marked  article  he  should  ad- 
vertise it  publicly,  so  that  the  owner  may 
recover  it. 


TKHit  anb  'miBt>om 


The  Sabbath  is  given  to  man,  not  man  to 
the  Sabbath. 


Do  not  reveal  thy  secret  to  the  apes. 

Thy  secret  is  thy  slave.    If  thou  let  it  loose, 
thou  becomest  its  slave. 


Though  thousands  do  thy  friendship  seek, 
To  one  alone  thy  secret  speak. 


Keep  shut  the  doors  of  thy  mouth 
Even  from  the  wife  of  thy  bosom. 

That  which  man  conceals  in  his  innermost 
chamber  is  plain  and  manifest  to  God. 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  137 


He  who  is  ashamed  will  not  easily  commit 


There  is  a  great  difference  between  him 
who  is  ashamed  before  his  own  self  and  him 
who  is  only  ashamed  before  others. 


There  is  hope  for  a  man  who  is  capable  of 
being  ashamed. 


He  who  is  bashful  before  others  but  is  not 
before  himself  is  wanting  in  self-respect. 


A  person  dependent  on  the  table  of  another 
has  the  world  darkened. 

138  Mlt  anb  TICli8&om 

A  man  should  be  opposed  to  taking  alms 
as  well  as  to  being  a  burden  on  the  com- 


It  is  better  to  be  a  menial  than  to  live  upon 
the  charity  of  others. 


All  I  weighed  on  scales,  but  found  nothing 
lighter  than  bran;  lighter  than  bran,  how- 
ever, is  a  son-in-law  living  in  his  father-in- 
faw's  house:  lighter  still,  a  guest  introduced 
by  another  guest. 


Whoever  has  no  possessions  may  be  com- 
pared to  an  infant  that  has  lost  its  mother. 
It  may  be  nourished  by  many  women,  but  it 
does  not  thrive,  because  a  mother's  love  no 
one  is  able  to  supply.  The  man  who  is  sup- 
ported by  others,  were  it  even  by  his  own 
father  or  mother,  or  his  children,  never  feels 

ot  tbe  XlalmuC)  139 

that   contentment   which  his   own  exertions 
would  give  him. 


It  is  a  bounden  duty  to  visit  the  sick. 


If  your  neighbor  is  sick,  pray  for  him. 


Silence  is  consent. 


If  silence  is  becoming  to  a  wise  man,  how 
much  more  so  to  a  fool? 


Do  not  deem  they  speech  secure,  for  the 
wall  has  ears. 

I40  TKait  anO  XRHiaDom 

If  a  word  spoken  in  time  is  worth  one  piece 
of  money,  silence  in  its  time  is  certainly  worth 


Sin  begets  sin. 

Curse  the  sin,  not  the  sinner. 


Commit  a  sin  twice,  and  you  will  think  it 
perfectly  allowable. 

The  wiser  the  man,  the  more  careful  should 
he  be  of  his  conduct. 

To  resist  sin  is  as  meritorious  as  to  be 
actively  engaged  in  a  good  work. 

of  tbe  Ualmu&     ,  141 

A  man  commits  sin  in  secret;  but  the  Holy 
One  proclaims  it  openly. 


Be  always  sincere  in  your  yea  and  your  nay. 


To  slander  is  to  murder. 

Teach  thy  tongue  to  say,  "  I  do  not  know." 

Better  no  ear  at  all  than  one  that  listeneth 
to  evil. 


Guard  thy  mouth  from  uttering  an  un- 
seemly word. 

Rather  be  thrown  into  a  fiery  furnace  than 
bring  anyone  to  public  shame. 

143  TKIlit  an^  XSIli0&om 

Four  shall  not  enter  Paradise;  the  scoffer, 
the  liar,  the  hypocrite,  and  the  slanderer. 


A  man's  merits  should  be  fully  stated  in  his 
absence,  but  only  partially  in  his  presence. 

A  slanderer  injures  three  persons:  himself, 
him  that  receives  the  slander  and  the  slan- 
dered person. 


Listen,  sir,  to  my  words,  and  give  ear  to 
my  utterances.  Keep  from  strifes  with  thy 
neighbor,  and  if  thou  seest  that  thy  friend 
does  anything  wrong,  guard  thy  tongue  from 


R.  Gamaliel  ordered  his  servant  Tobi  to 
bring  something  good  from  the  market,  and 
he  brought  a  tongue.  At  another  time  he 
told  him  to  bring  something  bad,  and  he  also 

ot  tbe  Ualmud  143 

returned  with  a  tongue.  "  Why  did  you  on 
both  occasions  fetch  a  tongue?  "  the  Rabbi 
asked.  "  It  is  the  source  of  good  and  evil," 
Tobi  repHed,  "  if  it  is  good  there  is  nothing 
better,  if  it  is  bad  there  is  nothing  worse." 


A  king,  who  was  dangerously  sick,  was  rec- 
ommended to  drink  the  milk  of  a  lioness. 
The  king  offered  a  high  price  for  it,  and  a 
man  tendered  his  services  to  procure  it.  After 
many  dangerous  exploits  the  man  succeeded 
in  procuring  it,  and  hastened  to  bring  the 
milk  to  the  court.  While  on  his  journey  he 
stopped  at  a  tavern;  the  different  members  of 
his  body  engaged  in  a  lively  dispute.  The 
feet  commenced  to  assert,  "  If  we  had  not 
carried  the  other  members,  you  had  never  suc- 
ceeded in  procuring  the  milk!"  "What  an 
arrogance !  "  the  hands  exclaimed.  "  If  we 
had  not  milked  the  lioness,  your  running 
would  have  been  of  little  benefit."  The  eyes 
said,  "  Had  we  not  shown  you  the  way,  and 
the  lioness,  what  had  you  been  without  us?  " 
The  heart  said,  "  It  was  my  direction  that  se- 


Mtt  ant)  Mis&om 

cured  the  success! "  At  last  the  tongue  par- 
ticipated in  the  dispute:  "  What  would  all 
your  actions  amount  to  without  me?  "  The 
other  members  merely  laughed  derisively  at 
the  claims  of  the  tongue,  which,  angry  at  such 
treatment,  said,  "  You  shall  find  it  out  to 
your  sorrow."  When  the  man  arrived  at  the 
court  and  offered  the  milk,  the  tongue  called 
out,  "  That  is  milk  from  a  Kalba  (bitch)." 
The  king  became  very  wroth  and  ordered  the 
man  to  be  hung.  Now  all  the  members  trem- 
bled, while  the  tongue  laughed.  "  Did  I  not 
tell  you  that  you  are  given  into  my  power? 
But  I  will  save  you  again.  Bring  me  back 
before  the  king!  "  the  tongue  cried,  and  when 
again  in  the  presence  of  the  king  it  said, 
"  You  misunderstood  the  meaning  of  my 
words.  I  brought  milk  of  a  Lebia  (lioness), 
only  in  my  haste  I  used  the  Arabic  term  for 
lioness,  Kalba."  The  milk  being  examined 
and  found  to  be  as  the  man  said,  he  was  richly 
rewarded.  The  tongue  then  proudly  ex- 
claimed, "  Life  and  death  are  given  into  my 
power! " 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  i45 


Slaves  should  never  be  addressed  as  such, 
for  the  name  itself  is  contemptible. 


The  soldiers  fight  and  the  kings  are  called 


The  soul  of  one  good  man  is  worth  as  much 
as  all  the  earth. 

Hillel,  the  gentle,  the  beloved  sage, 
Expounded  day  by  day  the  sacred  page 
To  his  disciples  in  the  house  of  learning; 
And  day  by  day,  when  home  at  eve  returning, 
They  lingered,  clust'ring  round  him,  loath  to 

From  him  whose  gentle  rule  won  every  heart. 
But  evermore,  when  they  were  wont  to  plead 
For   longer   converse,   forth   he   went   with 

Saying  each  day:    "  I  go — the  hour  is  late — 
To  tend  the  guest  who  doth  my  coming  wait," 

146  XIDlit  an&  MiB&om 

Until  at  last  they  said:    "  The  Rabbi  jests 
When  telling  us  thus  of  his  daily  guests 
That   wait    for   him."     The    Rabbi   paused 

Then  made  answer:    "Think  you  I  beguile 
You  with  an  idle  tale?    Not  so  forsooth! 
I  have  a  guest,  whom  I  must  tend  in  truth. 
Is  not  the  soul  of  man  indeed  a  guest, 
Who  in  this  body  deigns  awhile  to  rest, 
And  dwells  with  me  all  peacefully  to-day; 
To-morrow — may  it  not  have  fled  away?  ** 


"  Let  thy  garments  be  always  white." — 
Eccl.  ix.  8. 

A  king  once  distributed  state  robes  among 
his  servants.  The  wiser  among  them  took 
great  care  of  these  gifts;  not  a  single  spot 
sullied  their  purity,  not  a  single  stain  dimmed 
their  brilliancy.  But  the  foolish  servants  did 
all  their  work  arrayed  in  these  robes,  for- 
getting the  grandeur  of  the  gift,  and  the  dig- 
nity of  the  donor. 

Suddenly  the  king  ordered  the  robes  to  be 
returned  unto  him.    The  wise  servants  came 

ot  tbe  XTalmu^  147 

and  restored  the  dresses  spotless  and  unde- 
filed,  but  the  foolish  ones  brought  theirs  be- 
daubed and  spoilt. 

■  The  king  was  rejoiced  at  the  thoughtful 
conduct  of  the  wise  servants,  but  was  incensed 
at  the  carelessness  of  the  others. 

"  Throw  them  into  prison,"  he  exclaimed; 
"  let  them  there  cleanse  their  garments.  But 
the  good  and  discreet  shall  remain  about  me, 
and  glory  in  their  splendor,  for  they  are  wor- 
thy thereof." 

Such  is  the  way  of  God:  he  giveth  to  all 
alike  a  precious  gift,  a  pure  and  spotless  soul. 
The  pious  who  make  good  use  of  this  divine 
gift  are  permitted  to  enjoy  eternal  bliss,  but 
the  wicked  are  debarred  from  this  happiness, 
till  their  souls  are  purified  from  the  taints  of 


Speech  is  the  messenger  of  the  heart. 


Swear  not,  even  to  the  truth,  unless  the 
court  compels  you  to  do  so. 

148  Mtt  an&  1RIlis&om 

The  world  trembled  with  dread  when  God 
exclaimed:    "  Take  not  my  name  in  vain." 


Man's  thoughts  and  ways  shall  always  be  in 
contact  and  sympathy  with  his  fellow  men. 


To  what  is  a  man  likened,  who  consoles  with 
his  neighbor  twelve  months  after  his  bereave- 
ment by  death?  He  is  hke  a  surgeon,  asking 
a  man  who  had  once  broken  his  leg  to  let  him 
break  it  again  and  heal  it,  that  he  may  show 
him  what  excellent  mendicaments  he  has. 


One  who  restrains  his  temper,  all  his  sins 
meet  forgiveness. 


There  are  four  kinds  of  temperament:    To 
be  easily  provoked,  and  to  be  easily  pacified, 

ot  tbe  ZTalmuD  149 

is  to  neutralize  a  bad  quality  with  a  good  one; 
to  be  provoked  with  difficulty,  and  to  be  paci- 
fied with  difficulty,  is  to  neutralize  a  good 
quality  by  a  bad  one;  to  be  provoked  with  dif- 
ficulty, and  to  be  easily  pacified,  is  the  tem- 
perament of  a  holy  man;  to  be  easily  pro- 
voked and  pacified  with  difficulty  is  the  tem- 
perament of  a  wicked  man. 


Happy  the  man  who  resists  his  temptations. 


The  study  of  God's  Word  is  the  only  anti- 
dote against  temptation. 


Sinful  thoughts  are  even  more  dangerous 
than  sin  itself. 


Support  the  aged  without  reference  to  reli- 

ISO  TOltt  ant)  TRUfsDom 

gion;   respect  the  learned  without  reference 
to  age. 


The  virtuous  of  all  nations  participate  in 
eternal  bliss. 

The  Lord  who  proclaimed  the  Law  of  Sinai 
is  the  God  of  all  nations. 


"  Before  me,"  said  the  Lord,  "  there  is  no 
difference  between  Jew  and  Gentile;  he  that 
accomplishes  good,  will  I  reward  accord- 


When  Abraham  left  Ur  in  Chaldea,  he  set- 
tled near  Bethel,  for  the  pasturage  was  good, 
the  country  well  watered,  with  a  very  scanty 
population,  at  which  he  rejoiced,  as  his  flocks 
could  graze  unmolested.    But  Sarah  lamented 

ot  tbe  Ualmud  151 

their  late  pleasant  home,  on  the  plain,  Moreb, 
and  their  friendly  neighbors.  Being  tired  of 
their  solitude,  she  begged  her  husband  to  in- 
vite any  wayfarers  to  their  tent  to  partake  of 
their  hospitality.  One  day  Abraham  noticed 
an  old  man  riding  as  one  in  haste,  and,  inquir- 
ing of  him  the  cause,  discovered  the  man  to 
be  in  search  of  a  scattered  herd  of  cattle,  so 
he  invited  him  to  his  tent  to  refresh  himself, 
promising  that  some  of  his  young  men  would 
assist  in  the  search.  The  old  man  assented. 
Abraham  had  a  bath  prepared  and  a  goodly 
feast,  prior  to  the  eating  of  which  Abraham 
invoked  a  blessing  from  God,  in  which  the  old 
man  refused  to  join.  On  being  asked  the  rea- 
son for  his  impiety  he  acknowledged  being  a 
fire  worshipper.  Abraham,  full  of  indignation 
at  his  refusal  to  join  in  prayer,  drove  the 
travel-worn  old  man  out  of  his  tent.  As  he 
departed  sorrowfully  an  angel  of  the  Lord  ap- 
peared to  Abraham  and  asked  him  what  he 
did,  saying:  "  See  you  not  that  the  Lord  has 
had  patience  with  this  ignorant  man  these 
seventy  years— -can  you  not  dwell  with  him 
for  an  hour?  " 

So  Abraham  recalled  the  old  man,  urged 

152  TKmt  an&  Mfst)om 

him  to  partake,  made  ready  his  young  men, 
who  soon  returned  with  the  missing  cattle, 
and  who  assisted  the  traveller  to  drive  them 
home;  on  which  the  old  man,  in  leaving, 
blessed  Abraham  and  Sarah,  and  said  their 
kindly  actions  made  a  believer  of  him,  and 
that  a  living  fire  was  burning  in  his  heart  to 
be  of  service  to  his  fellow  man. 


The  future  gains  from  present  pains. 


Blessed  be  he  who  bears  his  trials.    Every- 
one has  his  share. 

He  who  cheerfully  submits  to  sufferings 
brings  salvation  to  the  world. 


Truth  is  the  seal  of  God. 

of  tbe  XTalmut)  i53 

Promise  little  and  do  much. 
Truth  is  its  own  witness. 

Truth  tells  its  own  tale. 

The  liar  is  worse  than  the  thief. 

Always  acknowledge  the  truth. 

Truth  will  stand,  but  falsehood  must  fall. 

Truth  is  the  seal  to  God's  works. 

154  Mit  ant)  MisDom 

Truth  is  heavy,  therefore  few  carry  it. 


Truth   lasts   forever,   but   falsehood   must 

Deception  in  words  is  a  greater  sin  than 
deception  in  money  matters. 

To  be  faithless  to  a  given  promise  is  as  sin- 
ful as  idolatry. 

This  is  the  punishment  of  the  liar,  that 
when  he  tells  the  truth  nobody  believes  him. 


It  is  sinful  to  deceive  any  man,  be  he  even  a 

To   break   a  verbal   engagement,   though 
legally  not  binding,  is  a  moral  wrong. 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  155 


When  the  castle  goes  to  ruin,  castle  is  still 
its  name;  when  the  dunghill  rises,  still  it  is  a 


In  all  God's  creation  there  is  not  a  single 
object  without  a  purpose. 

Use  thy  best  vase  to-day,  for  to-morrow  it 
may,  perchance,  be  broken. 


No  Israelite  is  allowed  to  lend  usuriously 
to  a  non-Israehte. 


The  practise  of  usury  is  as  wicked  as  the 
shedding  of  blood. 

156  TKIltt  anD  'CCllst>om 

The  possessions  of  him  who  lends  usuri- 
ously  shall  sooner  or  later  decrease  and  van- 


The  testimony  of  a  usurer  is  not  valid  be- 
fore the  court  of  Justice. 

The  usurer  will  have  no  share  in  an  ever- 
lasting life. 


The  usurer  will  not  prosper. 


He  who  makes  a  solemn  vow  without  ful- 
filling it,  his  book  will  be  searched. 


Drink  not,  and  you  will  not  sin. 

ot  tbe  Zi:almu&  157 

When  the  wine  enters,  the  secret  goes  out. 

When  Satan  cannot  come  himself,  he  sends 
wine  as  a  messenger. 


A  scholar  is  greater  than  a  prophet. 

Study  is  more  meritorious  than  sacrifice. 

Let  thy  house  be  a  resort  of  the  wise. 

Who  is  a  wise  man?    He  who  learns  of  all 

Who  is  a  wise  man?     He  who  looks  into 
the  future. 

158  iXiit  an^  TPQlisdom 

The  disciples  of  the  wise  are  engaged  all 
their  days  in  building  up  the  world. 

The  end  of  wisdom  is  repentance  and  good 


Wisdom  is  a  tree  and  active  virtue  is  its 


The  world  depends  on  its  school-children. 

For  the  blind  in  mind  there  is  no  physician. 


A  town  which  has  no  school  should  be 


Learn  a  little  here  and  a  Ittle  there,  and  you 
will  increase  in  knowledge. 

ot  tbe  UalmuD  159 

An  old  man  (i.e.,  one  entitled  to  venera- 
tion) is  only  he  who  has  acquired  wisdom. 

If  a  man  has  knowledge,  he  has  all  things; 
if  he  has  no  knowledge,  he  has  nothing. 

Culture  in  a  woman  is  better  than  gold. 

Culture  of  heart  is  better  than  culture  of 

Jerusalem  was  destroyed  because  the  in- 
struction of  the  young  was  neglected. 

The  world  is  only  saved  by  the  breath  of 
the  school-children. 

Even  for  the  rebuilding  of  the  Temple  the 
instruction  of  the  children  must  not  be  inter- 

i6o  "CCllt  anO  Mist)om 

The  chief  thing  is  not  learning,  but  the 

Beware  of  an  over-pious  ignoramus  and  of 
one  badly  trained. 

If  a  man  does  not  go  after  wisdom,  wisdom 
will  not  come  to  him. 

Learn  first  and  philosophize  afterwards. 

Whosoever  tries  to  make  gain  by  the  crown 
of  learning  perishes. 

The  more  knowledge,  the  more  spiritual 

ot  tbc  Xi:almu&  i6i 

Wisdom  increases  with  years;  and  so  does 

Knowledge  without  religion  blesses  not  its 

The  teachers  are  the  guardians  of  a  State. 

"  Repeat,"  "repeat,"  that  is  the  best  medi- 
cine for  memory. 

He  who  instructs  a  child  is  as  if  he  had  cre- 
ated it. 

The  rivalry  of  scholars  advances  learning. 

God  looks  to  the  heart  of  man  and  then  to 
the  mind. 

i62  Mit  and  Misdom 

One  learned,  who  is  not  inwardly  as  out- 
wardly, is  not  to  be  looked  upon  as  learned. 

Honor  the  sons  of  the  poor;  it  is  they  who 
bring  science  into  splendor. 

The  Lord  is  not  with  him  who,  while  pos- 
sessing great  knowledge,  has  no  sense  of  duty. 

If  you  have  not  desired  wisdom  in  your 
youth,  how  will  you  acquire  her  in  your  old 

If  you  interrupt  your  studies  for  one  day,  it 
will  take  you  two  to  regain  what  you  have 


Do  not  be  wise  in  words  alone,  but  also  in 
deeds,  for  the  wisdom  of  deeds  will  be  neces- 
sary for  the  world  to  come,  while  the  wisdom 
of  words  remains  on  earth. 

ot  tbe  Ualmu&  163 

The  ultimate  end  of  all  knowledge  and  wis- 
dom is  man's  inner  purification  and  the  per- 
formance of  good  and  noble  deeds. 


Ignorance  and  conceit  go  hand  in  hand. 

Without  knowledge  there  can  be  neither 
true  morality  nor  piety. 


Be  eager  to  acquire  knowledge;  it  does  not 
come  to  thee  by  inheritance. 

Teach  the  children  of  the  poor  without 
compensation,  and  do  not  favor  the  children 
of  the  rich. 


If  thou  hast  acquired  knowledge,  what 
canst  thou  lack?  If  thou  lackest  knowledge, 
what  canst  thou  acquire? 

i64  MIt  ant)  Mist)om 

It  is  necessary  to  have  a  knowledge  of  the 
world,  besides  a  knowledge  of  the  Holy  Law. 


He  who  acquires  knowledge,  without  im- 
parting it  to  others,  is  like  a  myrtle  in  the 
desert,  where  there  is  no  one  to  enjoy  it. 


Who  are  you  whose  prayers  alone  have 
prevailed?    I  am  a  teacher  of  little  children. 


He  who  has  the  least  understanding  has  the 
most  questions. 


To  what  may  he  be  compared  who  teaches 
a  child?  To  one  who  writes  on  clean  paper; 
and  to  what  may  he  be  compared  who  teaches 
an  old  man?  To  one  who  writes  on  blotted 

ot  tbe  UalmuD  165 

To  what  may  he  be  compared  who  learns 
from  children?  To  one  who  eats  sour  grapes 
and  drinks  wine  just  from  the  press;  and  to 
what  may  he  be  compared  who  learns  from 
the  aged?  To  one  who  eats  ripe  grapes  and 
drinks  old  wine. 

He  who  has  more  learning  than  good  works 
is  like  a  tree  with  many  branches  but  few 
roots,  which  the  first  wind  throws  on  its  face; 
whilst  he  whose  works  are  greater  than  his 
knowledge  is  like  a  tree  with  many  roots  and 
fewer  branches,  but  which  all  the  winds  of 
heaven  cannot  uproot. 

Be  wise,  my  son,  be  prescient,  acquire 
truth  and  esteem  uprightness.  Look  upon 
fools  as  empty  shadows.  Avoid  the  advice  of 
the  ignorant;  build  when  he  advises  to  tear 
down,  and  attach  yourself  to  the  wise. 

You  should  revere  the  teacher  even  more 
than  the  father.    The  latter  only  brought  you 


TRmt  m^  Misbom 

into  the  world,  the  former  indicates  the  way 
into  the  next.  But  blessed  is  the  son  who  has 
learned  from  his  father;  he  shall  revere  him 
both  as  his  father  and  hi^  master;  and  blessed 
is  the  father  who  has  instructed  his  son. 


If  any  one  telleth  thee  he  has  searched  for 
knowledge  and  not  attained  it,  believe  him 
not;  if  he  telleth  thee  he  has  attained  knowl- 
edge without  searching  for  it,  believe  him  not; 
but  if  he  telleth  thee  that  he  has  searched  for 
knowledge  and  attained  it,  thou  mayest  be- 
lieve him. 

Four  dispositions  are  found  among  those 
who  sit  for  instruction  before  the  wise,  and 
they  may  be  respectively  compared  to  a 
sponge,  a  funnel,  a  strainer,  and  a  sieve;  the 
sponge  imbibes  all;  the  funnel  receives  at  one 
end  and  discharges  at  the  other;  the  strainer 
suffers  the  wine  to  pass  through,  but  retains 
the  lees;  and  the  sieve  removes  the  bran,  but 
retains  the  fine  flour. 

ot  tbe  tralmuD  '^7 


A  woman  loves  a  poor  youth  rather  than  a 
rich  old  man. 

A  woman  schemes  while  plying  the  spindle. 

A  woman  is  a  shrewder  observer  of  guests 
than  a  man. 

A  woman  is  more  desirous  of  entering  the 
state  of  matrimony  than  a  man. 

A  woman  prefers  poverty  with  the  affection 
of  her  husband  to  riches  without  it. 

The  Emperor  Hadrian  is  introduced  as 
conversing  with  Rabbi  Gamaliel  on  several 
religious  questions,  with  the  object  of  casting 
ridicule  on  the  Bible.  Hadrian  exclaims: 
"  Why,  your  God  is  represented  therein  as  a 

i68  TRatt  ano  TOitaDom 

thief.  He  surprised  Adam  in  his  sleep  and 
robbed  him  of  one  of  his  ribs."  The  Rabbi's 
daughter,  who  is  present,  craves  permission 
to  reply  to  the  Emperor.  This  is  granted. 
"  But  first  let  me  implore  thy  imperial  pro- 
tection, puissant  sire,"  she  exclaims.  "  A 
grave  outrage  has  been  perpetrated  upon  our 
house.  Under  the  cover  of  night  an  auda- 
cious thief  broke  into  our  house  and  took  a 
silver  flagon  from  our  chest  of  plate  and  left 
a  golden  one  in  its  stead."  "  What  a  welcome 
thief,"  cried  Hadrian.  "Would  that  such  rob- 
bers might  visit  my  palace  every  day."  "  And 
was  not  the  Creator  such  a  thief  as  this?  " 
archly  rejoins  the  blushing  damsel — "  Who 
deprived  Adam  of  a  rib  and  in  lieu  thereof 
gave  him  a  loving,  lovely  bride?  " 


Happy  is  he  who  fears  God  when  in  the 
prime  of  life. 

Some  are  old  in  their  youth,  others  young 
in  their  old  age. 

ot  tbe  Ualmu^  169 

Youth  is  a  crown  of  roses,  old  age  is  a 
crown  of  rosemary. 


Alas!  for  one  thing  that  goes  and  never  re- 
turns.   What  is  it?    Youth. 


4701,   AVE.    DORNAL 



BM  500.5  .P4  1912  SMC 

Talfliud.    Engrlish* 

Wit    and  wisdon  of    the  Talaiud